Moving Forward with Light

Moving Forward with Light

Program Director’s Message – December 22, 2020

Courtney Cummings

The darkest day of the year has passed us.  Starting today, we are officially heading towards days filled with more light.  (Whew!)  My hope is that this additional light in the world will inspire us to focus on bringing light and joy to everyone, especially those in need.   As Jews, we are taught to treat others with dignity and respect and “that which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man.” (Hillel)  It seems simple enough.  Treat others with the same kindness you hope to receive.  We all have the power to do good and make this world a better place, one act at a time.  Wondering where to start?  Here is a list of 6 things you can do to make a difference in our Dayton community:

1. Donate Blood – About one in seven people entering a hospital needs blood.  With the increase of hospitalizations due to Covid, this need could be even greater than usual.  Blood donation takes about one hour of your time. When you give blood, it gives someone another smile, another hug, another chance. It is the gift of life.  Find out where you can donate blood.  If you are a first-time donor, learn more about the donation process.

2. Make Mac & Cheese – Yep, that’s right!  Time to get cooking.  Jewish Family Services of Greater Dayton is organizing a Mitzvah Mission on December 25 for St. Vincent de Paul.  One piece of this program is making mac & cheese using a specific recipe.  If you plan to make something or attend the event, be sure to RSVP so they know you are coming.

3. Drop off food at Temple Israel for The Foodbank – For over 40 years, The Foodbank has served as the primary source of food for the hunger relief network in the Miami Valley. The Foodbank – the only one of its kind in the area – relieves hunger in the community through a network of partner agencies by acquiring and distributing food.  Temple Israel is proud to be a drop-off location for those who wish to donate non-perishable items.  In addition, you may drop off items directly to the Foodbank. No one should go hungry, especially during this pandemic.    

4. Donate an item from Dayton Children’s Wish List – Children admitted to Dayton Children’s and their families receive the finest medical treatment, emotional support and loving care available anywhere. But children have other special needs. Your gift of toys, books, games, and activities help brighten a child’s stay at Dayton Children’s. These gift items are used for birthday presents, end-of-treatment gifts and to stock our play and waiting areas.  Shop their Amazon Wish List.  Help bring a smile to a child’s face.  

5. Volunteer at St Vincent de Paul or purchase items from their wishlistSt Vincent de Paul aids the homeless and impoverished by providing emergency shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing, food, clothing and household items, and guidance to leading a self-sustaining life.  On average, they shelter nearly 400 men, women and children every day. Guests receive clothing, personal items and three meals a day. Donating personal items is a great way to help ensure guests’ needs are met.  Download their needs list and consider a donation, or sign-up to become a volunteer

6. Donate money to Temple Israel – Our rabbis and staff are always here for you.  In addition to our regular programs and services, we provide assistance to those in need in our congregation, as well as ongoing emotional support and spiritual guidance.  Consider a donation to Temple Israel as this year comes to a close, so that we can continue to meet the needs of our community.

In these current times, it is easy for us to think that we can’t make a difference.  We can.  One small gesture can change someone’s day, lift their spirits.  Many acts of kindness can brighten the world.  Together let’s shine as much light as possible.  What are you waiting for?

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