Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer

29 E. Wynnewood Ave., Wynnewood, PA 19096

Contact: Johanna Butler, Fundraising Specialist, j.butler@alexslemonade.org, (866) 333-1213

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer was started by 4 year old cancer patient, Alex Scott. Alex wanted to raise money for her hospital by hosting a lemonade stand, and by doing so she raised a million dollars for cancer research by the age of 8. Since Alex passed away, the foundation has raised over 60 million dollars, funding over 300 research projects across the United States.

Volunteer Opportunity:

There are lots of ways to volunteer for your community service or mitzvah project and raise money for ALSF!

  • Students can host an Alex’s Lemonade Stand individually or through their school (obtain permission from your school) by registering here.
  •  Students can participate in Change Childhood Cancer, where change is collected by students to help raise money for childhood cancer.  For more information or to register your change collection, click here.
  • Are you on a track team or enjoy running or walking with friends?  Think about starting a team for our Million Mile Run.  To learn more or register, click here.
  • Or you could come up with your own event! Think about hosting a bake sale, walk-a-thon, sell paper lemons, etc. Learn more about other events that students have done by clicking here.

 

 

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks
216 Haddon Ave., Suite 403, Westmont, NJ 08108

Christina Carter, Director, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter, Autism Speaks 856 858-5400

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.

Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for autism, and advocating for the needs of affected families.

We have administrative volunteer opportunities in our South Jersey office. We are also looking for volunteers for our local (Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia Walk Now for Autism Speaks and Ride for Autism Speaks Philadelphia ) events. This is the perfect mitzvah project or community service project!  We can also work with Bar/Bat Mitzvah students on creating special service projects/fundraisers.

Birthday Angels

Birthday Angels
Hashaldag 9 Kadima Israel 60920

Contact: Ruthie Sobel Luttenberg, Director 972+9+8919942 birthdayangelsproject@gmail.com

Birthday Angels gives every needy Israeli child the esteem building experience of a birthday party with her or his friends.

Writing a check for Birthday Angels is MORE than just a donation. It offers you a unique venue to show your concern for the welfare of children in Israel. It’s an opportunity for you in the Diaspora to make a personal connection with an Israeli child. To help build his self-esteem, by making him feel loved and special. By showing him that people care.

In other words, it’s a way for you to demonstrate your commitment to the highest Jewish values of Tzedakah, Mitzvah and Tikkun Olam.

Turn the things you love into a mitzvah project: if you love to bake, make a bake sale; if you love to skate, have a skating party; if you love to run, make a marathon; if you love crafts, make something special and sell it; if you babysit, give your earnings to Birthday Angels. Everyone is good at something. Open this link to see the fabulous things other Birthday Angels did for their community service projects and get inspired:

http://www.birthday-angels.org/70698/Angel-of-the-Month

Teens can buy kits to do parties in the US. They can do on hands volunteer work beyond their fundraising efforts for Birthday Angels.

Boys & Girls Club of Trenton/Mercer County

Boys & Girls Club of Trenton/Mercer County
212 Centre Street Trenton, NJ 08611

Contact: Debra Wachspress, Director of Community Engagement 609-392-3191 dwachspress@bgctrenton.org

The mission of the Boys & Girls Club is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.

Volunteer opportunities for a community service project: Youth are needed to assist with homework help, sports, art and other activities in our after school programs. We also encourage collection drives of books or gifts during the holiday season for a mitzvah project.
Monday – Friday, after school anytime between 3pm & 6pm

Christmas Mitzvah Project

Christmas Mitzvah Project
3600 S. Yosemite St. #600, Denver, CO

Contact:  Mary Ann Weiss, Project Coordinator, 303-515-3284, christmasmitzvah.co@gmail.com

The Christmas Mitzvah Project offers volunteer opportunities at a diverse range of organizations in need of assistance during the Christmas Holiday. Participants provide support to staff and help out at a time when many organizations are understaffed. One of the best gifts a person can give is a mitzvah (good deed) and the Christmas Mitzvah Project is a unique way to engage in a community-wide mitzvah at a time when we can. No special skills are required, only a few hours to give in the holiday spirit.

Volunteers can provide non-medical assistance to organizations (the volunteer will be matched to an organization after he/she signs up) on Christmas Eve (between 4pm-8pm) and Christmas Day (shits start from 8am-12pm and 12pm-4pm).
Volunteer duties may include serving a meal, playing games, reading stories, passing out clothing/supplies, staffing a gift shop and more.

Volunteer Opportunity Times/Days of Week: 12/24 and 12/25

CONCERN

CONCERN
49 Easton Rd., Suite 202, Willow Grove, PA 19090

Contact: Diane Devlin 215-654-1963

CONCERN is a child welfare organization that places abused and neglected children into loving foster homes throughout the community.  It is CONCERN’s mission to help these children grow into healthy and productive members of society.  When foster children are moved to a new home, they often carry their belongings in trash bags since they do not have the proper luggage.

CONCERN has served over 15,000 children and youth in placement services, including over 1,500 into adoptive families. Through 17 service sites throughout eastern Pennsylvania and Maryland, CONCERN offers a growing array of adoption, counseling, foster care, and residential programs. Each day our placement services impact the lives of nearly 400 children and youth. Each year our counseling services touch the lives of approximately 4,000 individuals through a continuum of services.

For a community service project, collect and donate duffle bags to help them when they need to transport their belongings.  Your mitzvah project can also involve donations of backpacks and back-to-school supplies before the start of each new school year, and toys and gift cards for the holiday season.  Monetary contributions to our Special Needs Fund (to pay for after-school and extracurricular activities for our foster children) and our Life Skills Program (to prepare our foster teens for life after foster care) are also much needed and greatly appreciated.

Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia

Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia
30 Clipper Road, West Conshohocken, PA 19428

Sarah Busbey, Distribution Coordinator 215 836-0958 x204 sarahb@cradlestocrayons.org

Our missions is to provide children, ages 0 to 12, some of the most important basics of life, free of charge. At the Giving Factory, your volunteer work will be to sort and process donated children’s items for kids in need. This may include cleaning and testing toys, inspecting clothing for rips and stains, sorting books by age categories, or matching up outfits for clothing packs. Its all fun, hands-on work that directly benefits homeless and low-income children in need in the greater Philadelphia region.

Host a Winter Product Collection Drive – In 2009, Cradles to Crayons received 3,800 orders for winter coats and clothing. This year, we expect to hear from many more families having difficulty paying their heating bills and bundling their children against the cold. Cradles to Crayons is making an extra effort to collect as many warm coats, clothes, boots, hats, mittens, sweaters, etc. as we can find. This year you can get involved with us doing a community service project and help thousands of kids feel safe, warm and valued this winter. Hosting a drive for a mitzvah project is easy and fun! And you will know that your work directly benefits homeless and low-income children in need in the greater Philadelphia region. Please contact Kloe Unruh at kloe@cradlestocrayons.org for more information.

Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation

Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation
3601 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19148

Contact: Maria Leonetti, Finance & Development Manager mleonetti@esyhf.org 215 952-4196

The mission of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (ESYHF) is to use the sport of hockey to help educate young people to succeed in the game of life.

Snider Hockey is a cutting edge program that uses the sport of hockey coupled with a rigorous off-ice life skills curriculum and supplemental educational services to build character and academic skills for high-risk inner-city boys and girls from Philadelphia and Camden, NJ.

The foundation provides full equipment, ice time and experienced coaching to more than 3,000 children, at no charge to them or their families.

Mitzvah project and community service project volunteers can be creative and do all sorts of projects from equipment drives to assisting coaches and other fundraising programs. TImes available are: weekdays after school and on Saturdays.

Friendship Circle Philadelphia Region North

Friendship Circle Philadelphia Region North
25 N. State St. Newtown, PA

Contact: Mrs. Miriam Shemtov, Executive Director friends@fcpa.info 215 497-1003

The Friendship Circle South reaches out and extends a helping hand to families who have children with special needs and involves them in a full range of social experiences. The Circles’ unique formula introduces teenage volunteers to the children and through shared experiences both are enriched. Volunteers become friends to a child with special needs, thereby, giving them the opportunity to have what every child needs- friends, role models and love.

Simply put, The Friendship Circle lets children and teens with special needs enjoy many of the social and recreational opportunities afforded to the community at large. We also provide a way for teenagers to offer respite and friendship to children and their families.

Teen Volunteer opportunity: For B’nai Mitzvah, there is a 6 week program at the Glazier Jewish Center in Newtown. The program includes training sessions and hands on experiences through interacting with the special children from our community.  This is a fantastic opportunity for a high school student searching for a meaningful community service project.

Friendship Circle Philadelphia Region South

Friendship Circle Philadelphia Region South
754 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Contact: Chani Baram, Program Director info@phillyfriendship.com 215 574-1765

The Friendship Circle, serving Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware Counties, reaches out and extends a helping hand to families who have children with special needs and involves them in a full range of social experiences. The Circles’ unique formula introduces teenage volunteers to the children and through shared experiences both are enriched. Volunteers become friends to a child with special needs, thereby, giving them the opportunity to have what every child needs- friends, role models and love.

Simply put, The Friendship Circle lets children and teens with special needs enjoy many of the social and recreational opportunities afforded to the community at large. We also provide a way for teenagers to offer respite and friendship to children and their families.

Mitzvah project or community service project volunteer opportunity:

The Mitzvah Volunteer Program (MVP) is a 6 week program developed for 6th and 7th graders. MVP teaches participants how to interact with children who have special needs. Through activities & games, guest speakers and multimedia presentations, they will learn appropriate conduct when volunteering, the importance of giving back to the community and the impact they can have on others. Throughout this fun and meaningful program, MVP participants and parents will help coordinate and plan a culminating event for the children and their families where they will then participate in their first hands-on volunteer experience for The Friendship Circle.

2013/2014 Volunteer Opportunity Times/Days of Week:  

Session 1 Eastern Montgomery County Oct 21,28 Nov, 4,11,18,25 and event on 11/24.  Session 2 Main Line location Feb 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27, and event 3/23

Gia Nicole Angel Foundation

Gia Nicole Angel Foundation
146 Golden Drive, Dresher, PA  19025
Contact: Amy Corson-Nadell, President artcarte@aol.com, 215 429-9996

The Gia Nicole Angel Foundation is a non-profit organization which provides assistance to low income families with a special needs’ child.  The foundation was inspired by a young lady named Gia who was born with Spina Bifida and is now 21 years old.  Gia was given a 3% chance of survival at birth and fought her way to life, becoming an “angel” of sorts.  Our annual bowling benefit is our primary means of raising funds for our grant recipients.  This event enables us to assist many families by purchasing an item to enhance a special needs child’s everyday life.  The Foundation has provided items like an IPad for non-verbal children, a special bicycle for a child without limbs, chair lifts, hearing devices for the hearing impaired, and the Foundation has paid essential bills which enables families to remain in their homes.

Our Bowling Benefit is scheduled for Sunday April 27, 2014 from 2-5pm at Thunderbird Lanes in Willow Grove, PA.

Volunteer Opportunities for your mitzvah project or community service project:
Sell raffle tickets to the public before and during the event.
Set up and clean up the day of the event at Thunderbird Lanes.
Post flyers at local business to promote the event approximately two weeks prior.
Solicit contributions from businesses for which the foundation will provide information to be provided to potential contributors.
Stuff, seal and stamp benefit reminders and solicitation letters.
Assist with assembling the raffle baskets the Friday evening prior to the event.

Gift of Life Family House

Gift of Life Family House
401 Callowhill Street Phila, PA 19123

Contact: Sara Cohen, Development Coordinator, scohen@giftoflifefamilyhouse.org 267-546-9800

Gift of Life Family House serves as a “home away from home” for transplant patients and their families by providing temporary, affordable lodging, meals and supportive services to those who travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for transplant-related care. Gift of Life Family House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization.

Here’s what you can do for a mitzvah project or high school service project:

Have a Staff/Student Dress Down Day: Everyone loves an excuse to wear
jeans or hats! Have staff, faculty or students donate $5 to the Family House so
they can dress down for a cause! We’ll provide the green bracelets for those who donated so everyone knows they are allowed to dress down.
Help Change Lives Coin Collection: We can provide you with Help Change Lives containers that you and your friends and family can fill up
with all their spare change. Each coin collected helps support our families.

Be a Home Cook Hero: Groups of up to 10 people are able to provide, prepare (on or off site), serve and clean up a meal for the guests staying at the Family
House. This is a very rewarding opportunity and the impact of your service on our families will be seen and felt first-hand.
Host a Wish List Drive: Keeping our House stocked with basic home necessities requires a lot of donated food and supplies. Every few months, we update our wish
list of needed items – food, household goods, sample size toiletries and office supplies.

Come up with an idea of your own. We love creativity with teen volunteers and would be happy to work with you. Please contact Sara Cohen at scohen@giftoflifefamilyhouse.org or visit www.GiftofLifeFamilyHouse.org

Golden Slipper Camp

Golden Slipper Camp
215 N. Presidential Blvd. Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Contact: Nanci Gilberg ngilberg@goldenslipper.org 610-660-0520 x101

Embracing Jewish traditions and values since 1948, Golden Slipper Camp, a not-for-profit overnight camp located in the Pocono Mountains, enriches the lives of children ages 7-15 and young adults from varied backgrounds by providing five essential components:

  • Scholarships for deserving campers in need
  • American Camp Association (ACA) accredited programming that reflects the Jewish community’s commitment to inspiring youth
  • Diverse activities that promote teamwork, tolerance and personal growth
  • Modern facilities that enhance safety, security and comfort
  • A family-oriented environment that fosters lifelong friendships and builds self esteem

For over 60 years, thousands of children have experienced firsthand the warmth, traditions, spirit and exhilarating fun that make Golden Slipper Camp an ideal choice for the summer.

For a community service project, volunteers can collect items to donate to the camp such as: guitars, musical keyboards, drum sticks, basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, tennis equipment, hockey sticks and balls to name a few. Also, volunteers can creatively come up with a way to help raise money to send children to camp (see the Mitzvah Bowl website’s “more ideas page” for mitzvah projects).

Children deserve to have an enriching, magical experience at summer camp, and for many children, their days at Golden Slipper Camp are some of the most enjoyable days of their years.

Here’s how your contribution will make a difference:

$18 pays for one child’s meals for a day at Golden Slipper Camp
$36 pays for two children’s meals for a day at Golden Slipper Camp
$57 pays for activities in one child’s day at Golden Slipper Camp
$121 pays for one child’s all-inclusive day at Golden Slipper Camp
$1,000 pays for one child’s week at Golden Slipper Camp
$3,000 pays for one child’s session at Golden Slipper Camp

HomeFront NJ

HomeFrontNJ.org

1800 Princeton Ave., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Contact:  Judy Long, Development Director 609-989-9417, judyl@homefrontnj.org

HomeFront’s mission is to end homelessness in Central New Jersey by harnessing the caring, resources and expertise of the community.
In the U.S., an astonishing 1.7 million children are homeless. That is one out of every 45 children in our community.
We lessen the immediate pain of homelessness and help families become
self-sufficient.
We work to give our clients the skills and opportunities to ensure adequate incomes, and we work to increase the availability of adequate, affordable housing. We help homeless families advocate for themselves individually and collectively.

For your mitzvah project, there are many ways to get involved with HomeFront and helping those in need in your community. We have opportunities and ideas for all ages, groups, and interests.
Examples:
FOOD
There are families in our community that have to decide whether to pay their rent or buy food for their family.  Help stock the shelves of HomeFront’s food pantry so families don’t have to go hungry to pay their rent.
CLOTHING
Kids are constantly growing, which means they’re growing out of clothes every year.  Help a homeless or needy child feel good about their first day of school and every day after that by helping provide a school uniform, or even something as simple as new socks and underwear.
PERSONAL CARE ITEMS
Collect regular sized toiletries for children and their parents.  Assemble personal care kits for men, women and children if you’d like, or you can simply donate all of your items in one big batch.  Read more to find out what’s most needed.
ART SUPPLIES
Help cultivate the budding artist that lies inside of all children and allows them to express themselves in ways words sometimes cannot.
ACTIVITY BAGS
Create a bag filled with activities to keep kids busy while they’re waiting with their parents in HomeFront’s waiting room or sitting with a case manager to receive services.  There can be a lot of waiting and it’s more fun when there’s something to do.
DIAPER BAGS FOR NEW MOMS
Stock a diaper bag with the things a mom needs to care for her newborn baby.

Hope for Henry Foundation

Hope for Henry Foundation
P.O. Box 39133 Washington, D.C. 20016

Contact: Laurie Strongin, Founder and Executive Director & Julie Bender, Program Director 202 277-2710

Hope for Henry (HFH) improves the lives of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses by providing carefully chosen gifts and specially-designed programs to entertain, and promote comfort, care, and recovery.

HFH brings smiles and laughter, hope and magic into the lives of these children and their families. HFH was founded in 2003 to honor the legacy of Henry Strongin Goldberg, a Washington, DC resident who died at age seven of a rare, fatal disease. Since that time we have served more than 4,000 hospitalized children.

Hope for Henry sponsors birthday celebrations for seriously ill kids who are spending their special day in the hospital with its new program ‘It’s Your Birthday!’. HFH provides each of our hospital partners with over 20 themed birthday boxes for kids ages 1-21.

For a community service project, volunteer opportunities would include organizing a collection or drive for brand new, unopened themed birthday supplies including hats, plates, cups, napkins, blowers, goody bags, party favors, decorations, and candy. With this mitzvah project, the birthday boxes would then be assembled, decorated, and distributed to local area hospitals.

Hungry For Music

Hungry For Music
6 Grant Ave. Suite 3 Takoma Park, MD 20912

Contact: Jeff Campbell, Founder and Executive Director, 240-582-6193, hungryformusic@att.net

Hungry for Music’s mission is to bring positive musical and creative experiences in to the lives of underprivileged children by providing them with donated musical instruments. These instruments are donated throughout the nation as well as internationally.

At Hungry for Music, our most important service is putting musical
instruments into hungry hands. Children who demonstrate a desire to learn
music, or teachers who have willing pupils, but no instruments, are the
clients we serve. Most anyone will attest to the healing power of music; its
ability to soothe in times of tension, its ability to transform sadness and
aggression into hope and creativity. Music is the prayer through which the
world heals itself.

We believe that by sharing instruments and musical experiences, children who
would not normally have the opportunity can experience a kind of freedom and
self-discovery that is often stifled in an atmosphere of economic hardship.
All of our events, benefits, instrument drives, and compact disc production
are aimed at uplifting those lives – and enriching culture at large by
spreading music education.

Mitzvah project or teen volunteer opportunity: Organize an instrument drive to donate the instruments to these underprivileged children.

Israel Tennis Centers Foundation

Israel Tennis Centers Foundation
3275 W. Hillsboro Blvd., Suite 102, Deerfield Beach, FL  33442

Contact:  Lauren Weissman, Development Associate & Yoni Yair, Development Director
954-480-6333 ext. 221, lweissman@israeltenniscenters.org

Through the discipline of tennis, The Israel Tennis Centers (ITC)strive to improve the lives of children in one of the most conflicted regions of the world. By teaching the life skills of self-reliance, perseverance and focus, the ITC fosters sustainable values of self-esteem, character and tolerance, creating a positive imprint on the children, their families, the communities and the world for generations to come.

For your mitzvah project, several options are available to help Israel Tennis Centers:
•Sponsor “goody” bags with new tennis items for children at the Israel Tennis Centers who are also celebrating their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, while developing an overseas pen pal relationship.
•Donate a portion of your bar or bat mitzvah gifts to support an underprivileged child or one of our sports for social impact programs. The donation will be earmarked for your specific project.
•Organize a tennis tournament at your club and have the players’ entry fees donated to ITC.
•Request that donations be made in your honor to Israel Tennis Centers Foundation in lieu of gifts. Donations are tax deductible.
•Help the ITC Foundation arrange a tennis exhibition in your community, to raise awareness and funds for disadvantaged children to attend the Israel Tennis Centers specually designed programs, which use tennis as a tool to improve their quality of life.

JAFCO-Jewish Adoption and Foster Care

JAFCO-Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options
4200 North University Dr., Sunrise, FL 33351

Contact: Rana Bell, Director of Northeast Development, 610-397-8688 rana@jafco.org

JAFCO finds homes for abused and neglected Jewish children. Over 350 Jewish and non-Jewish children are currently being served by JAFCO. 50 of those children live in our Children’s Village, which includes our Emergency Children’s Shelter and six group homes. The JAFCO Children’s Village in Sunrise, FL remains the only one of its kind in the Jewish community nationwide. Although the children physically reside in Florida, it is not uncommon that the family originates from Philadelphia, New York, or New Jersey. At JAFCO we care first about saving the life of a child, it is less important to us where they are from.

B’nai mitzvah students can choose from one or many of the following mitzvah projects:

  • organize a drive to collect new duffle bags, school supplies, toiletries, college dorm supplies, baby supplies, pj’s, underwear, and socks
  • fulfill one of a few Chanukah wish lists for the children of JAFCO
  • give JAFCO shema pillows/pillowcovers for your guests as party favors
  • participate and request sponsorship for a sporting activity, run or walk, or organize one around your park or community
  • put on a performance of your interest (music, dance, play) at your home or temple and charge family and friends to come
  • make your mitzvah into an art project and sell things that you have made such as cards, pictures, paintings, and sculptures.
  • when travelling to Florida with your familly, arrange a meeting with JAFCO to see where your efforts are helping others

KaBOOM!

kaboom.org

4301 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite ML-1, Washington, DC 20008

Contact:  Anna Morozovsky, Sr. Manager of Individual Giving, (650) 389-9562, amorozovsky@kaboom.org

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America’s children.
Our mission is to create great play spaces through the participation and leadership of communities. Ultimately, we envision a place to play within walking distance of every child in America. There is a Play Deficit in America and it is harming our children. We fight this deficit by constructing innovative kid-inspired playspaces, sharing our knowledge and tools, and building a national movement to save play.

Opportunities for teen mitzvah and volunteer projects:

Every year we build roughly 200 new playgrounds in one-day in communities across the country.  Each playground project requires the help of 200 community volunteers.  Join us to help put up a new playground in a neighborhood near you!

Become a ‘play’ advocate:  Pledge to save play or help spread the word about how play is important in a child’s growth and development.   Learn about Play Deserts and how they affect a neighborhood’s children.

Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund

Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund
602 S. Bethlehem Pike, Bldg. D, Ambler, PA 19002

Contact: Peggy Dolan, Founder/ Executive Director 215 643-0763 pdolan@dolanfund.org

The KADMF lightens the burdens of families whose lives have been impacted by the serious illness, disability or injury of one or more children. This is done through advocacy, education, information and financial assistance for families who live in or are treated in the states of PA, NJ and DE.

Volunteer opportunities include mitzvah projects such as: organizing a fundraiser such as a volleyball tournament, flea market or walk-a-thon. Your community service can entail assisting with mailings and other office needs, help with Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program, assist with preparations for Family Fun Day.

Keren Or

Keren Or
350 7th Ave., Suite 701 New York, New York 10001 (Center is located in Jerusalem)

Contact: Jason Steklof, Development Associate, info@keren-or.org, 212 279-4070

Keren Or (Hebrew for ray of light) is the only center of its kind in the world under Jewish auspices devoted exclusively to the care and rehabilitation of children with visual impairment who are also physically and/or mentally disabled.

Keren Or students range in age from infancy to young adulthood. Their state-of-the-art facilities, dedicated staff, and individualized therapy programs allow each of their students (over 100) to reach his or her maximum potential.

Mitzvah project or tzedakah opportunities: Bar/Bat Mitzvah students can learn about the Keren Or Center in Jerusalem, the challenges facing our students with multiple disabilities, and how they can make a difference. We will work with them to create a project or make a presentation in their home communities that will benefit the work of Keren Or. They can also raise money to benefit the work of the Center in Jerusalem.

For more information or to receive our Bar/Bat Mitzvah Kit with information about our work, resources about the challenges facing children with disabilities, and ideas for mitzvah projects, contact Jason Steklof at Jason@keren-or.org or 212-279-4070.

Kisses for Kyle Foundation

Kisses for Kyle Foundation

P.O. Box 188, Willow Grove, PA 19090

Contact: Sharon Snyder, President; LouCrecie Garlanger, Volunteer Coordinator 267 210-1489

The Kisses for Kyle Foundation is dedicated to helping children with cancer and their families who reside in the Delaware Valley Region. Our mission is to alleviate some of the massive burden that these families face during this trying time. The foundation serves to provide funds to families whose children are battling cancer and provide hope and happiness through donations of gifts and their participation in other fun events.

Volunteer opportunities include mitzvah projects such as:

  • “K”ookie Sale
  • Host a backyard fair
  • “K”ar washes: pick a date, get a group of your friends and family (pick up your entire kit filled with everything you need to wash the “k”ars!)
  • distribute Kisses for Kyle brochures, donation jars and/or “k”ards to local businesses
  • host a Kisses for Kyle “booth”. Kits include: wristbands, magnets, brochures and information.

You pick the location, time & date for your own community service project.

For other volunteer opportunities, contact us at: volunteer@kissesforkyle.org

Laurel House

Laurel House
P.O. Box 764, Norristown, PA 19404

Contact: info@laurel-house.org 610-277-1860

The mission of Laurel House is to provide safe haven for abused women and their children, to raise public awareness about domestic violence and to advocate for social change against domestic violence.

Over the past 31 years, our programs have expanded to include many other needed services and supports. Today, in addition to our 24-hour hotline and shelter, Laurel House offers transitional housing, medical advocacy, legal advocacy, community counseling and support groups, children’s programs, support to law enforcement, and expanded community education and prevention efforts.  Several years ago, Laurel House opened Marian’s Attic, an “upscale resale” thrift shop in King of Prussia. The shop helps raise needed funds to support our shelter and counseling programs, while also helping raise awareness about domestic abuse.

Your mitzvah project or community service project with Laurel House helps abused women and their children.

1. Check out our website for our most needed items. Start a drive for them in your school or community. http://www.laurel-house.org/wish-list

2. Go through your closets and donate your gently-used clothing to one of our thrift shops:

Marian’s Attic –   255 Town Center Road (Valley Forge Shopping Center)
King of Prussia, PA  (610) 337-3068

Laurel’s Loft – 1801 N. Broad Street (Pennwood Plaza)
Lansdale PA 19446 (215) 398-6037

3.  Are all of your friends getting new cell phones? Well, collect the old ones! Laurel House accepts all used cell phones and ink cartridges so why not organize a collection? Ask your parents’ coworkers, friends at schools, teachers, etc. They are greatly appreciated here!

4. Volunteer in the office, stuffing and folding envelopes and other fun stuff!

Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Center

Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Center
4842 Ridge Ave., Phila., PA 19129

Contact: Ben Hirsh, Coordinator of Youth Leadership and Volunteer engagement, 215 487-9555, bhirsh@ashetennis.org

The mission of the Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Center, inspired by the life of Arthur Ashe, is to create meaningful opportunities for a diverse cross-section of young people, especially those from under-resourced families and communities, to achieve success as individuals and as active, responsible citizens. We attain this mission through innovative tennis, education, life skills, and leadership development programming in neighborhoods throughout the Philadelphia area and at our state-of-the-art Legacy Youth Tennis and Education Center.

There is a wide range of mitzvah project and community service volunteer opportunities, from working on court with the Munchkin Clinic, to helping with reading and homework, community clean-ups, administrative assistance, PR assistance. If you have an interest, we have an outlet for you.

Lev LaLev

Lev LaLev

14 Melnick Drive PO Box 1210 Monsey, NY 10952
Contact: Sheena Levi -Director of Outreach

845-367-7130 x 105 sheena@levlalev.com

Lev LaLev Fund is a non-profit organization that works to support the Rubin-Zeffren Children’s Home in Netanya, Israel. The home supports all the needs for over 100 girls, ages 5-18+, who have been abused, neglected and abandoned by their families. Beyond basic needs they often also require mental health facilities. The girls are mainstreamed and given the same opportunities as anyone’s own daughter would including higher education and assistance in paying for their weddings.

Lev LaLev has a special Bat Mitzvah Project program called Beyond Bat Mitzvah. Young women are encouraged to find a project that best utilizes their talents and hobbies to benefit the Children’s Home in Israel in any way she feels most connected to. One may also choose to sponsor a Bat Mitzvah of a girl at the Home, twin her Bat Mitzvah celebration, or even come to Israel to celebrate with us. Learn more about the programs many options: http://www.levlalev.com/BatMitzvah

Lose the Training Wheels, Inc.

Lose the Training Wheels, Inc.
P.O. Box 617, Goddard KS, 67052

Contact: Matt Hampton, Executive Director matt.hampton@losethetrainingwheels.org

The mission of Lose The Training Wheels is to teach people with disabilities to ride a conventional two wheeled bicycle and become lifelong independent riders. This achievement, in turn, creates a gateway of opportunity helping them gain assurances and self reliance in many other aspects of their lives.

Volunteers, for their mitzvah project or community service project, at each of their many camps are assigned to a rider as their “spotter” and provide physical and emotional support for that rider throughout the course of the week. Volunteers should be physically fit so they are able to run along side the rider and catch them if they begin to fall. Many times volunteers are as impacted as the riders are inspired by the courage that people with disabilities exhibit everyday.

Time requirements: 90 minutes, generally M-F 8:30-5pm Their website indicates locations and date information.

Love to Langa

Love to Langa

125 Birkdale Drive, Blue Bell, PA 19422

Contact: Amy Ostroff, President 610 608-9347 lovetolanga@gmail.com

Love to Langa supports the work of Siyaphambili Orphanage Village, which was founded in 2005 by Ndileka Xameni. Formerly a social worker, she reponded to the growing number of young children orphaned by parents with HIV/AIDS. The orphanage currently serves 250 orphaned and vulnerable children, including 85 grandparents, 35 Child-headed households and 25 teen mothers.

The charity is new and needs funds in order to purchase land and building materials. Mitzvah projects may also include:

  • Raise $310 to provide $10 gift cards to a local store for each of the 31 children residing at the orphanage
  • Raise $125 to provide uniforms and books for a child, enabling them to go to school for a year
  • Help create short movies that will be used on the website and Facebook
  • Help write ‘Child of the Month’ articles that will be used on the website and Facebook
  • Spread the word about the organization as a community service project

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and Susquehanna Valley

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Philadelphia and Susquehanna Valley
One Valley Square 512 Townshipline Road Suite 133 Blue Bell, PA 19422

Contact: Gretchen Smith Development Associate 215-654-9355 gsnee@philadelphia.wish.org

The Make a Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.

Kids For Wish Kids® gives kids an opportunity to plan a fundraiser that will help sponsor the wish of a local child with a life-threatening medical condition. Since the program started, ambitious kids looking to do a community service have used creative means to give something back to one of their own–the priceless gift of a wish-come-true. Just a few examples include letter campaign, Dance Marathons with friends, Art Shows, Bake Sales, Hat Days and Student/Teacher Basketball games. Whether it is $200 or $2,000, the kids who perform a mitzvah project involved in this program will walk away from the experience feeling empowered that they helped to make a difference. If they like, the kids can learn about the boy or girl whose wish was granted as a result of their efforts.

Get involved with Kids For Wish Kids® or Wishmakers On Campus®

This program is geared towards students (elementary thru graduate students) looking for community service/involvement with the primary focus of raising funds to make more special wishes come true! Fundraising activities are endless – (bake sales, talents shows, school dances, etc.) students are encouraged to be as creative as possible! Parents and teachers may serve as advisors for these programs.

Music for Autism

Music for Autism

23 Pine Hill Court, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510

Contact: Robert Accordino, Co-Founder and Executive Director 646 964-6487, robert@musicforautism.org

Music for Autism is raising public awareness and enriching lives through autism-friendly, interactive concerts developed specifically for individuals with autism and their families. The concerts feature professional musicians, including Tony award winners and Grammy-nominated classical artists. To ensure equal access for all, every Music for Autism concert is fully subsidized.

The mitzvah project or community service teen volunteer opportunity is to organize a concert for fundraising purposes-not an ‘autism-friendly’, interactive concert-and to raise awareness of our work with an eye towards expanding our concerts to Pennsylvania in the future. Children interested would organize a local concert at which they and friends would perform-the profits raised would then be donated to Music for Autism to support our fully subsidized musical programs to allow those with autism and their families, irrespective of socioeconomic status, the ability to experience a high quality, live musical performance as well.

Musicopia

Musicopia
2001 Market Street, Suite 700 Philadelphia, PA 19103

Contact: Denise Kinney, Executive Director,  info@musicopia.net

Musicopia is a nonprofit organization that works with approximately 100 of our region’s professional musicians to present a wealth of music education programs. Musicopia is also the leading advocate for restoring and improving in-school music instruction throughout the Greater Philadelphia area.

Founded in 1974 as “Strings for Schools,” the organization once focused primarily on classical string music. Now Musicopia provides assemblies, workshops and long-term residencies that span a huge range of musical traditions. Since February 2006, our new official name, “Musicopia”, has represented the growing diversity of our services. In recent years, Musicopia has become “the largest provider of outside music education resources for schools on the East Coast,” according to the Music Performance Fund (a division of the American Federation of Musicians).

Musicopia builds neighborhood vitality through music festivals and community concerts given jointly by students and professionals. These joyous events engage families in their children’s cultural development and celebrate the musical achievements of students at all levels. Through instrument donation drives and neighborhood-based student performing ensembles, Musicopia makes musical participation accessible to underserved students.

Mitzvah project or community service volunteer Opportunity: Organize an instrument donation drive for schools who have students who want to play an instrument but do not have the money to rent/buy equipment.

New Eyes

New-Eyes.org

549 Millburn Ave., Short Hills, NJ 07078
Contact:  Sally Golding, Volunteer Manager 973-376-4903
sgolding@new-eyes.org

Our mission is to improve the vision and lives of adults and children who are in need by purchasing new prescription eyeglasses in the U.S. and redistributing donated eyeglasses in developing countries.  New Eyes empowers children and adults in the United States and overseas with the improved vision they need to pursue a better quality of life for themselves and their communities.

11 million people in the United States struggle with uncorrected vision and have no resources to buy eyeglasses.
Uncorrected vision problems can seriously affect a person’s life.
For children, not having glasses can lead to poor self esteem, failure in the classroom, developmental delays, learning disabilities, social maladjustment, and even juvenile delinquency.
For adults, the lack of corrective glasses can mean the difference between employment and unemployment.
For seniors, poor vision can limit their ability to read medicine labels, navigate stairs and perform other tasks required to lead an independent life.

New Eyes purchases eyeglasses for needy residents of the U.S. We help when no one else can.

For your mitzvah project, coordinate a collection drive of donations of eyeglasses, hearing aids, jewelry, watches and small giftware. For more information and tips, go to our link.

One House At A Time Beds For Kids

One House At A Time Beds for Kids
411 Susquehanna Road, Ambler, PA 19002

Contact:  Megan Weisser, Program Coordinator 215.346.6427 megan@ohaat.org

One House at a Time’s Beds for Kids program provides disadvantaged children with beds, bedding, and the tools they need to develop healthy bedtime habits. These items help children get the sleep they need to wake up healthy and ready to learn.

Host a Collection Drive!

OHAAT depends on generous individuals and organizations to donate bedding and bedtime essentials, like books and stuffed animals. The Beds for Kids program is always in need of the following:
Priority Items
▪ New and gently-used twin-size sheets
▪ New and gently-used blankets and comforters
▪ New and gently-used books for children age 13 to 20

Other Items
▪ New pillows
▪ New and gently-used pillow protectors
▪ New and gently-used stuffed animals
▪ New and gently-used books for children age 2 to 12
Spread the Word
Most people want to help: they just need to be asked. Send emails, post flyers, or use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Talk about the drive at meetings and group gatherings. Host a party and ask guests to bring a donated item. OHAAT can provide custom flyers and signs for your drive, or templates for you to make your own.

Make it Easy to Donate
Have a central location for people to drop off their items. (To borrow collection boxes, contact the OHAAT office.) You can run your drive for as short or as long as you’d like. You’re also welcome to host multiple drives with each targeting specific items (e.g. Sheet and Blanket Drive, Book Drive, Stuffed Animal Drive, etc.).

Deliver Your Donations to OHAAT
Contact the OHAAT office to schedule a delivery time to our storage facility in Huntingdon Valley, which is located at 555 Welsh Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006.

Ready to Get Started?
Contact the OHAAT office at 215-346-6427 or office@ohaat.org. Someone will answer your questions and make sure that you have everything you need to get started!

Pajama Program

Pajama Program

34 E. 39th Street, Suite B New York, NY 10016

Contact: Kathleen Stuart, National Pajama & Book Distributor kathleen@pajamaprogram.org

Pajama Program provides new pajamas and new books to children in need, many who are waiting and hoping to be adopted. Thousands of the children live in group homes and shelters and are shuffled often between temporary living facilities. Many of them have been abused or abandoned, and have never enjoyed the simple comfort of having a mother or father tuck them in at bedtime and read to them.

Pajama Program needs volunteers to help collect new pajamas and new books as a community service project.

Visit: http://www.pajamaprogram.org/pjdrive.html in Eastern Pennsylvania, contact: jill@pajamaprogram.org and christinak@pajamaprogram.org. They will let you know where your mitzvah project gifts are needed most.

PeacePlayers International

PeacePlayers International
901 New York Ave NW, Suite 550 E, Washington D.C. 20001

Contact: Adam Hirsch ahirsch@peaceplayersintl.org 202-408-5111

PeacePlayers International uses the game of basketball to unite, educate and inspire young people in divided communities, based on the premise that children who play together can learn how to live together. (PPI’s affiliate in Israel and the West Bank, PeacePlayers International- Middle East, promotes peaceful coexistence among Arab and Jewish young people in the region and provides positive extracurricular outlets for those from disadvantaged communities.)

Children who play together can learn to live together. That’s the idea behind PeacePlayers International, a nonprofit organization that uses basketball to unite children in divided communities all around the world. Since 2001 PeacePlayers has served 65,000 kids and trained more than 1,100 coaches from some of the world’s toughest conflict areas. PeacePlayers has been featured in Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CBS, the Today Show, and the Washington Post.

For your Mitzvah Project, you can support PeacePlayers efforts in Israel, where Israeli and Arab children play basketball together on the same team where they learn to work together and become friends. PeacePlayers can give you the tools to plan, organize and host your own 3-on-3 basketball tournament with proceeds going to PeacePlayers’ own work using the game to bridge divides between Arab and Jewish children in Israel.

In the words of Hadas, a Jewish 17-year-old from Jerusalem and member of PeacePlayers since 2009, “We are PeacePlayers, and we are against the hate and racism. We won’t let our society dictate to us who to hate and who to like. We are PeacePlayers, and we refuse to be enemies, no matter what. We are PeacePlayers, and we are here to prove that there’s a better way for all of us!”

If you believe in the power of teamwork and know that playing team sports unites and helps kids learn about a lot more than sports, then PeacePlayers is for you!

 

Pencils of Promise

PencilsofPromise.org
37 West 28 St 3rd Floor, New York, NY
Rachele Aidala, Development Coordinator, Community Engagement, raidala@pencilsofpromise.org,(212)777-3170

Pencils of Promise believes every child should have access to quality education. We create schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal of education for all.  Since our founding in 2008, Pencils of Promise (PoP) has broken ground on over 200 schools throughout Laos, Nicaragua, Ghana, and Guatemala. Our programs have impacted more than 150,000 lives and sparked an international movement around global access to education. Education can create profound, lasting change in a community and, with plans to break ground on 500 schools by 2015, PoP’s programs are doing just that.

Our program involves building schools in these areas, sustaining students from primary to secondary school by providing scholarships, teacher training workshops and in-service teacher development, and improving water, sanitation and hygiene systems throughout the schools.

Mitzvah projects include having students fundraise to build a school or support these programs with Pencils of Promise. It costs $25 to educate a child for a year, $10,000 to build a classroom, and $25,000 to build a full school in Guatemala, Ghana, or Laos.  Check out the mitzvah projects of our current fundraisers to see how they have impacted the lives of students in these regions.

People’s Emergency Center

People’s Emergency Center
325 N 39th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Contact:  Meredith Pollock, Volunteer Coordinator, mpollock@pec-cares.org, (215) 382-7523 or (267) 777-5829

People’s Emergency Center (PEC) nurtures families, strengthens neighborhoods, and drives change. We are committed to increasing equity and opportunity throughout our entire community. We provide comprehensive supportive services to homeless women and their children, revitalize our West Philadelphia neighborhood, and advocate for social justice.

PEC primarily serves homeless families consisting of single mothers and their young children. Many of these families are headed by young mothers with little or no work experience and some history of personal or familial trauma. The work of PEC is to support these families through a complement of social services that are intended to chip away at their barriers to success. Families at PEC are supported through emergency and transitional housing, employment and job training, computer skills development, GED and workplace literacy, as well as case management and counseling services. Through its efforts, PEC enables the families it serves to achieve long-term economic and personal self-sufficiency.

Our community development arm helps build new homes and maintain and repair existing ones, cleans up vacant lots and maintains parks, and helps families manage their finances.

PEC forms partnerships for strengthening neighborhoods with community members and organizations, individual donors, foundations, and government agencies. Over the past 22 years, we have raised nearly $60 million to help revitalize the West Powelton, Saunders Park, and Mantua neighborhoods that we serve.

For your mitzvah project, organize a drive of in-kind donations or donate non-perishable items for our food relief program! We are especially in need of personal care products: soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.  Contact us to find out about our immediate needs.

Philadelphia Reads

Philadelphia Reads

325 Chestnut Street Phila., PA 19106

Contact: Adrienne Jacoby, Executive Director; ajacoby@philareads.org

Tara McCoy, Program Director  tmccoy@philareads.org.  215.279.7450 x12

 

The Philadelphia Reads’ mission is to build a city of readers by providing hands-on and philanthropic opportunities for businesses, corporations, church, youth and community groups and individuals to strengthen the literacy skills of Philadelphia school children. Our goal is to help Philadelphia students in under-resourced schools build literacy skills and achieve reading proficiency by grade four.
Volunteer Opportunity:  Host A Children’s Book Drive
We’re recruiting companies, community groups, youth groups and individuals to host a children’s book drive to stock the Book Bank. The Book Bank recycles these gently-used books directly into the hands of teachers for use in their classroom libraries. Because of budget cuts, funds for classroom libraries have been drastically reduced. The Book Bank — modeled on an actual book store — but free of charge — makes these gently-used children’s books available to Philadelphia teachers in public, private, charter, parochial and community schools.
It’s easy to host a Book Drive:
    Philadelphia Reads provides a tool kit of information.
    Collect gently-used books for students in pre-school to 5th grade.
   Record Children’s Books on Tape
   Want to express your dramatic voice and promote children’s literacy?
We’re recruiting volunteers to record children’s picture books on tape/CD.  Each book and tape/CD are shelved in the Book Bank and available for teachers — free of charge — for their classrooms. Volunteers are welcome to record these dramatic readings together! Children love hearing more than one voice on a tape as they follow along in the book.

Pitch in for Baseball

Pitch in for Baseball

1541 Gehman Rd., Harleysville, PA 19438

Contact: Tom Schoenfelder, toms@pitchinforbaseball.org
Pitch in for Baseball is the central organization for the collection and redistribution of new and gently used equipment to underserved children both in the US and around the world. It is also committed to youth baseball in Israel through an ongoing partnership with Israel Association of Baseball. Mitzvah projects include collecting baseball and softball equipment. Pitch in for Baseball has served over 65 countries around the world and over 250 communities in the United States.

For your mitzvah project or community service project, the gloves, bats and other baseball equipment that’s sitting in your closet or garage right now can open a whole world of opportunities for an underprivileged kid. Pitch in your gently-used equipment or donate money to give the gift of baseball to a deserving child.

We’re accepting donations of new or gently-used:  Fielding gloves, Youth bats, Catcher’s mitts and protective gear, Batting helmets, Baseballs and softballs,  Soft cover balls for Tee Ball, Rubber baseball cleats, Youth uniform pants (sets of 12, or more, if not white or gray), Youth uniform shirts and hats (sets of 12, or more) , Umpire protective gear, Team equipment bags, Sets of bases,  Batting tees,  Pitching machines

Project Backpack

Project Backpack St. Louis
12120 Bridgeton Sq. Drive, St. Louis, MO   63044

Contact:  Judy Pearlstone,  Executive Director, 314-993-3033, backpackstl@gmail.com

Project Backpack was started in October, 1999 to help children who were the victims of domestic violence, but we have now expanded our services to include any child in a crisis situation. Backpacks are distributed on the scene by police or social service agencies so that the children will have something to call “their own”. Our backpacks are age and gender appropriate, and all items are new. They contain items like toiletries, sleep-t’s, school supplies, books, stuffed animal to love and much more, and are designed to get the children through the first hours as they are moved from a crisis situation to a safer environment.  We distribute these to any police department or social agency free of charge.

Volunteers of all ages, are always needed at the warehouse to help put away donations, pack backpacks or prepare items to go into the backpacks.   This is a huge undertaking as the request for backpacks come in daily and are increasing in numbers every month. We have some people unable to come to pack but will hold a drive to collect items for us. There is a list of items on our website that are needed right now, and a list of other items that are needed for each age group.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please check the packing schedule on our website and call to let us know when you would like to come.

Project Harmony Israel

Project Harmony Israel

318 W 100th St, Apt 6A, New York, NY 10025

Contact: Meg Sullivan, Co-Founder/Co-Director meg@projectharmonyisrael.com 917-476-6296

Project Harmony is a 4-week English language summer camp that aims to create a safe social space for Arab and Jewish children from Jerusalem to relate to one another as kids. We believe in working towards peace through shared experience, one summer at a time. See our website for fun pictures from previous summers! 
Launched in the Summer of 2010, Project Harmony is a 4-week English language summer camp that aims to create a safe social space for Arab and Jewish children from Jerusalem to relate to one another in the most basic way–not as citizens of a politically tense state or members of a religious group, but as peers. In a system where divisions are pervasive, entrenched, and often self-imposed, change is necessarily long term. Project Harmony seeks to plant the seed of this long-term process: one that begins with children who, despite being born into a deeply divided society, are given the chance to imagine their community as one rooted in shared experience, intellectual freedom, and social awareness. This is our vision of peace.

B’nai Mitzvot (for their mitzvah projects) may support Project Harmony Israel through fundraising however they like: bake sales, collecting donations from family and friends, etc. Funds will go to scholarships for underprivileged campers and camp materials like art supplies and food for lunches.

Project Linus

Project Linus
1347 Bernard Avenue Willow Grove, PA 19090

Contact: Jackie Cain,  215-784-0273 mistynana@verizon.net

Project Linus provides love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers”.

Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities for the benefit of children.

Mitzvah Project opportunity:

Our chapter coordinators accept new, handmade, washable blankets and afghans for giving to children ages 0-18 years, which can be knitted, crocheted, made of fleece or quilted.  Project Linus blankets are not donated to adults. As a national policy we accept all sizes and styles, although some chapters may have more narrow requirements based on the needs of the facilities to which they donate.  Project Linus blankets must be of excellent quality and free from contaminants. Special care should be taken to ensure that blankets are free of smoky smells or any chemicals which could cause problems for a child. Ensure that blankets are free of pet or animal hair. Hospitals will not accept these blankets, and they will most likely be discarded. Recent studies show that laundering these blankets does not remove contamination, and in some cases can even make it worse. Always check blankets carefully for pins, and remove any embellishments such as buttons that could be swallowed.

Quilts for Kids

Quilts for Kids
494 Lincoln Highway, Fairless Hills, PA 19030

Contact: Nancy Lacey, Operations Manager 215 295-5484

Quilts for Kids, Inc. is a non-profit whose mission is to: Transform fabric into brightly colored child friendly handmade patchwork quilts that comfort children in need. The quilts are created by volunteer quilters worldwide and donated to Children’s hospitals across the USA and the world with a large percentage going to our local Children’s hospitals. The charity was started in Yardley PA and very involved with local community and the tri-state area Children’s hospitals and shelters. Collections of must needed supplies are necessary to make quilts for children with life threatening illnesses and children of abuse: fabrics which are brightly colored, kid-oriented 100% cotton, gallon zip lock bags, heavy duty clear packing tape, computer paper, Tide HE, and more. (Please call to see what is needed for this mitzvah project) Ask us about our Quarters for Quilts program that your group can adopt as a wonderful community service project.

Volunteer opportunity: Create your own fundraiser and donate the proceeds so that the charity may purchase fabric for the quilts or inquire about other ways to help.

Another way to volunteer is to request that everyone attending the Bar or Bat mitzvah bring one yard of child friendly fabric to the synagogue to be donated to Quilts for Kids. Another idea would be for a bar/bat mitzvah student to set up and direct a drive to collect needed supplies, as listed, as well as fabrics.

A more hands-on challenge would be for the bar/bat mitzvah student to attend a Sunday workshop and actually make a quilt to be donated. This takes sewing skills on the volunteer’s part and would require them to have a sewing machine. The volunteer would be responsible for completing the quilt or working with someone to get the quilt completed. To make the project come full circle, if they live in the Philadelphia area, we could make arrangements with the volunteer and a parent to deliver a load of quilts to a Philadelphia hospital.

Contact Sally at sally.weber@quiltsforkids.org for some other great ideas.

Rodney Street Tennis

Rodney Street Tennis
1101 N. Market Street Wilmington, DE 19801

Contact: Tina Tharp, Managing Director 302 256-0235 tinatharp@comcast.net

Founded in 1979, the Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization operating in Wilmington and New Castle County, DE, builds lives through tennis and education for at-risk inner-city boys and girls opportunities for children in the Great Wilmington Region to reach their full potential on and off the tennis court.  The lessons learned from this program go far beyond tennis.  RSTTA combines academics, athletics, nutrition, and civic responsibility to encourage the development of a child from a holistic

Volunteers are needed throughout the year to help tutor these children. 4-7PM Monday-Thursday.  Tennis skills are not necessary for volunteers.  Contact Rodney Street Tennis for more ideas on fundraisers and community service ideas.

Sara’s Smiles Foundation

Saras-smiles.org
1349 Lindsay Lane  Meadowbrook, PA  19046
Contact: Jen Burke, Founder/President, (267)287-8244, saras-smiles@comcast.net

Sara’s Smiles Foundation was created extend a loving hand to hospital-bound children who are battling cancer.  Our mission is to help create a positive atmosphere and upbeat experiences.  We want to make happy memories for all children who are struggling with cancer by providing a variety of resources to entertain, comfort, and educate.  Our website, www.saras-smiles.org, helps both the family in the hospital as well as the family at home with a variety of resources.  We also distribute “Inspiration Kits” to hospital-bound pediatric oncology patients.  Each kit is filled with items that help families stay organized, connect with others, and explore creative ways to encourage smiles.

Mitzvah project and teen volunteer opportunities include:
1) Organize a drive for arts and crafts supplies, toys, and games
2) Hold a fundraiser such as a walk, bake sale, car wash, yard sale, dance party, etc. Be creative and have fun with it!
3) Join our team, Team Sara’s Smiles at the fall annual Philadelphia Parkway Run.  For more information check out www.parkwayrun.com.
4) Volunteer at our annual plant sale, held the week before Mother’s Day.
5) Sell Sara’s Smiles bracelets, t-shirts, pins, and/or magnets to raise money and create awareness.  (We’ll supply the materials you need for this.)

Save a Child’s Heart Foundation (SACH)

Save a Child’s Heart Foundation (SACH)
10050 Chapel Road Potomac, MD 20854

Contact: Larry Maltin, Regional Director Mid-Atlantic, maltin@saveachildsheartus.org 215.542.8371
David Litwack Executive Director litwack@saveachildsheartus.org 301 618 4588

Providing Lifesaving Cardiac Surgery for the World’s Poorest Children” Save A Child’s Heart (SACH) is a non-profit, international humanitarian project based in Israel. Its mission is to improve the quality of cardiac care for children from developing countries, regardless of nationality, religion, race, gender, or financial status.

Mitzvah project and community service volunteer opportunities:

*Wall of hearts – Our signature Wall of Hearts in the SACH children’s home is simple to replicate with color paper, markers, and a pair of scissors. For a contribution, people can buy and decorate a heart and publicly show their love for their friends and loved ones, all while helping save a life. The Wall of Hearts can be displayed in any open and public area where passersby will take notice and will want to get involved in.

  • Homemade New Year, Chanukah, or Valentine’s Day cards – Set up a table with craft supplies. For a contribution to SACH, people can create homemade cards for their loved ones.
  • Flowers – Give people the opportunity to buy flowers (paper or real) with a meaningful tag such as “This flower helped save a life”.
  • Baked Goods Sale
  • Game night – Host a board game evening and charge for entry.
  • Karaoke night – Set up a karaoke machine and let people sing their favorite love songs. You could charge an entry fee or even ask for a donation per song. *Sports Activities–Use athletic activities such as basketball, ping pong, bowling, volleyball, etc to organize a sports tournament or contest with entry and sponsorship fees.
  • Volunteering at the SACH Children’s Home in Israel.

Second Chance Toys

Second Chance Toys

Contact: Bronna Lipton, Executive Director 908 789-2993, blipton@secondchancetoys.org

The goal for Second Chance Toys is to create a groundswell of interest around the mission (to rescue and recycle plastic toys for needy children) throughout communities in the United States.

By providing the necessary tools, step-by-step instructions and facilitating essential connections with local organizations, sources of funding and media exposure, Second Chance Toys hopes to empower others to create their own local programs, the first of which, Second Chance Toys of PA and Second Chance Toys of NYC are already underway as well as many other school and community-based programs.  In doing so, the Second Chance Toys mission will be able to reach out to many needy children all over the United States and help our environment that much more.

Our toy collections are twice per year; in April for Earth week and then in November/December in time for the holiday season.

We are looking for students, schools, clubs, libraries and organizations of any kind to collect gently used plastic toys from families in your community and prepare them for donation to local organizations that serve needy children. This mitzvah project accomplishes two goals: doing something good and green.

The registration for our upcoming holiday collection begins on November 1st and volunteers can sign up by visiting our website.   With collections of 50 toys or more, we will match you with a recipient organization, serving kids in need within your community, so you are able to deliver their collected toys by December 20th. If you have less than 50 toys, check out our website to find the closest drop-off location to you.

Toy Guidelines; plastic, clean, no missing or small parts**, batteries function
**parts that can fit through a toilet paper roll are too small.

We offer support, tools and resources to help make your community service program a success.

Simon’s Fund

www.simonsfund.org
P.O. Box 61, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444

Contact: Darren Sudman, darren@simonsfund.org 6106626948

Simon’s Fund mission is to save a child’s life and then another by raising awareness about heart conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death.

Cardiac arrest isn’t just an adult thing. It takes the lives of thousands of children every year. By providing heart screenings, funding research, advocating for legislation, establishing a national registry, educating parents and coaches, and hosting fun kid’s events, Simon’s Fund is doing everything it can to help save little lives.

There are many mitzvah project and community service opportunities to get involved with Simon’s Fund. Many students have hosted a heart screening for their school. Others have participated in our annual Valentine’s Day Cookie Drive. This fall, another student is hosting a chess tournament to raise money for heart screenings. If you have an idea, bring it!

Soccer for Peace

Soccer for Peace www.soccerforpeace.com

240 West 98th Street; Suite 12A  New York, New York 10025

Contact: Ori Winitzer, Director, ori@soccerforpeace.com ,  (917)582-5060

Soccer for Peace exists to unite children of war-torn regions through their shared love of sports. Our programming occurs in Israel and consists of soccer camps and after school programs for Arab and Jewish children, always represented in equal number. We aim to work with 10-13 year olds who for practical reasons tend to live within close geographic proximity. The programs themselves consist of three components: Athletic, Educational and Social, all of which have integrity as a core value. Since you cannot control what happens years down the road, all you can control is the quality and sincerity of your effort. We are extremely proud of our programs and believe that by bringing kids together, in a common love, we can break barriers organically and sustainably.

Description of Volunteer Opportunity:  Soccer for Peace is flexible about the nature of the opportunity for a community service project, so long as it is meaningful to the bar/bat mitzvah and material to the organization. Projects typically range from fundraising to holding soccer related events. A roster of possibilities, with the considerations specific to each, can be found on our site:  Soccer for Peace

Special Olympics Montgomery County

Special Olympics Montgomery County

980 Harvest Drive Suite 203, Blue Bell, PA 19422

Contact: Scott Otterbein, Volunteer Coordinator
215-542-1140 specialolympicsmontco@verizon.net

Special Olympics is an international organization dedicated to providing individuals with intellectual disabilities, or other significant developmental disability, with an opportunity to train and compete in Olympic-style sports. Through training and competition, athletes improve their physical fitness and general health. The athletes gain the discipline, the inter-personal and social skills, and the self-confidence to become contributing, participating members of our community. http://www.specialolympicspa.org/coach/general-orientation

Volunteer Opportunity: The teen volunteers, fulfilling a mitzvah or community service project, who make the program possible have the opportunity, not only to share in the athletes’ achievements, but also to grow and learn themselves. Special Olympics Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) conducts training and competition in 18 sports at 40 various venues within the county, serving over 1,200 athletes last year. Volunteers assist coaches in practices supporting athletes in learning skills, keeping scores, escorting, cheering, keeping the athletes occupied during break times, etc. All of our practice locations are listed on our website: Our volunteers should be in their mid-teens and not require supervision by other volunteer and coaching staff. On our county website’s Training Sites page you will find the sports, training sites, active months of the year.

Time commitment is once or twice a week for four month training seasons.

Tabor Children’s Services

Tabor Children’s Services
601 New Britain Rd., Doylestown, PA 18901

Contact: Ariana Burrows, Chief Development Officer 215 348-4071 ext. 219, Ariana.Burrows@tabor.org

Tabor Children’s Services mission is to keep children safe, strengthen families and promote independence via in-home and mental health services, adoption and foster care services and prevention and supervised independent living support.

Mitzvah projects include collecting much needed items: disposable diapers/wipes, book bags, school supplies, binders, non-perishable food. You may also help with clerical work as a community service project with the mission of keeping children safe during our business hours.

The Baby Bureau

thebabybureau.org

1209 Spring Avenue, Fort Washington, PA

Contact:  Fran Wasserman, Founder & Director fran@thebabybureau.org 215-688-0538

The Baby Bureau is  a volunteer non profit organization dedicated to helping underserved moms by providing “Baby Bundles” of clothing for the newborn baby after delivery in the hospital.  The “Baby Bundles” are distributed by community social service providers that determine the need.  Each “Baby Bundle” is wrapped in donated blankets or quilts and contains at least 25 seasonally appropriate outfits, onesies, sleepers, bibs, baby shoes, hat, book and new rattle.  The baby clothes are either gently used or new.
The Baby Bureau believes in Recycle, Reuse, Regive, the love…the need is great! There have already been 250 baby bundles given to new babies.  Through your mitzvah project, you can increase that number significantly.
Volunteer Opportunity:  There are many ways to help The Baby Bureau through you mitzvah project!  You can sponsor a baby clothing drive or you can come to our donated space at Abington Health-Warminster and help inventory and sort the clothes.  We need lots of hands to dress our community babies.

The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank

The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank
1 Yale Drive, Richboro, PA 18954

Contact: Pat Kennedy President/Founder 215-919-8500, pat@philadelphiadiaperbank.org

What would you do if you had to choose between food for your family and diapers for your baby? This is a choice that some families face daily. Diapers are a basic necessity, but you can’t use food stamps (SNAP) to buy them. If you are homeless, don’t have a washing machine (Laundromats do not allow you to wash diapers in their machines), or send your child to a federally subsidized day care, you need disposable diapers. So what do families do? They use towels, or try to clean a disposable diaper and reuse it, or leave their baby in the same diaper all day long.

Through community organized diaper drives and donations, the Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank collects diapers and distributes them to homeless shelters, food banks, faith based organizations and social service agencies. Our diapers help keep babies clean, dry and healthy. They allow families to send their children to daycare so they can work or go to school. If families use our diapers, they have more money to spend on other basic necessities like food, clothing or a place to live.
How can you help? You can hold a Diaper Drive! There is no right or wrong way to hold a drive; it can be a single event or last a week- or longer. We have information and posters on our website, or you could get creative and make your own! Afterwards, we’d be happy to pick-up. You could, also, help us spread the word and make a video or info-graphic for us. Worried about the environment? We are too; we collect diaper packaging and send it to Terracycle for recycling. And, we could always use help sorting and rewrapping opened packages that are donated. There are lots of ways you could choose to help!

The Halloween Helpers

The Halloween Helpers

PO Box 19, Wynnewood, PA  19096

Contacts: Emma Rose and Ilyse Shapiro:  info@TheHalloweenHelpers.org, 610 642-7427

Halloween is one of the most important events in a young child’s life.  It provides lifelong memories, develops self-worth, and allows kids to play an active role in their community. Unfortunately, many children are unable to participate in this fun, annual experience because they do not have a costume. Halloween Helpers provides low-income children with a Halloween costume thus making this a day of life-long memories.

Volunteer Opportunity: Hold a costume drive at your school, business, camp, scout troop, special event, religious activity or organization.  For a mitzvah project, help distribute and/or retrieve costume collection boxes, sort and label costumes, or help out at one of our mid-October costume distribution events.  Partner with other businesses who can help provide trick-or-treat bags, healthy single-serving snacks or halloween make-up as part of your community service project.

Time:  Any time July through October

 

The Joy of Sox

The Joy of Sox
580 Lindsay Drive, Radnor, PA 19087

Contact: Tom Costello Jr., Chief Sock Person 610 745-1075 tom@thejoyofsox.org

The Joy of Sox mission is to supply socks to the homeless. We need community involvement in collecting new socks for the homeless. This could be run out of a school, synagogue or office.

For a mitzvah project, volunteers may also fundraise to purchase new socks, help package socks as a community service project and then deliver them to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

Thorncroft Equestrian Center

Thorncroft Equestrian Center for Theraputic Riding
190 Line Road Malvern, PA 19355

Contact: jessica@thorncroft.org, Volunteer Coordinator, 610.644.1963, info@thorncroft.org

Our mission is to develop the physical and emotional well-being of all people including those with special needs. We are committed to personal growth and education in an equestrian environment of respect and love. Founded in 1969.

Thorncroft Equestrian Center will continue to be a premier leader in the field of therapeutic horseback riding and related mental health programs. Our Education Center will provide continuing education and assist in the development of future programs for instructors, students and families. As a non-profit 501(c)(3), Thorncroft will continue to operate on a sound financial basis, with particular emphasis on the long-term strength of the Center. Under the guidance of a dedicated Board and Staff, we will continue to be devoted to enhancing the mind, body and spirit of all individuals touched by the Thorncroft experience.

Thorncroft welcomes students of all ages. Our 70 acre farm, now under an open space easement, is open and here to enjoy. Private and group lessons are individually geared towards the ability and goals of the rider. Horsemanship is taught on the flat and over fences in either of our 2 indoor arenas, the outdoor arena or cross country course; trails around the Farm are available for riders to enjoy the surrounding countryside.

Our Mitzvah Project opportunity is for those students 13 years and older. You may help in several ways:
WEEKLY LESSONS
Our lesson volunteers assist with weekly lessons by grooming and tacking horses before the lesson, leading the horse or side aiding for a student during the lesson, and putting the horse away after the lesson. These volunteers commit to the same day and time every week in order to establish relationships and teamwork between the rider, the instructor and the horse. No horse experience? No problem. We teach our volunteers to work with horses and students. Fill out an application online.

We also sponsor Special Programs, Horse Shows & Special Events– there is a volunteer position available for you!

Volunteer Opportunity Times/Days of Week: Monday 3-7pm Tuesday 3-7pm Wednesday 12:30-3:30pm Wednesday 3:30-6pm Thursday 3:30pm-6pm Friday 3-6pm

Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases at Einstein Medical Center

http://www.victorcenters.org/
Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia 5501 Old York Road Levy 2 West Philadelphia, PA 1914
Contact:  Dr. Adele Schneider, MD GACMG Medical Director Victor Center;  Director, Clinical Genetics Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, 877.401.1093, stonejos@einstein.edu
The Victor Center offers accessible genetic counseling and screenings. On a national level, we work in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy and the community to create awareness  and organize screenings for the 19 preventable diseases for which 1 in 4 Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier. Our mission is to help ensure the birth of healthy children. The national office of the Victor Center is located in Philadelphia with regional Victor Centers in Boston, Miami, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and a screening program in Atlanta.

The Victor Center was created in partnership with Einstein Healthcare Network and Lois Victor who lost two daughters to a Jewish Genetic Disease (JGD). Mrs. Victor has made it her life’s work to help ensure that no other parent would have to endure this kind of heartache. In the same way that Tay-Sachs has all but been eradicated in the Jewish community due to a public education campaign and screening that began in the 1970s, we have it within our power to ensure that the other 18 diseases are as well.

For your bar/bat mitzvah project, you can help raise awareness and educate your community about Jewish genetic disease testing.  Volunteer at a screening day in your area to support Jewish genetic disease testing.

Woods Services

Woods Services
Rts. 413 & 213 Langhorne, PA 19047

Contact: Debra Marker, dmarker@woods.org 215 750-4214

Woods Services supports children and adults with disabilities or challenges to achieve their highest potential and independence through innovative and individualized approaches that promote learning and personal fulfillment.

The Volunteer Program at Woods Services for community service and mitzvah projects aims to provide a mutually beneficial experience for both the client and the volunteer. In other words, the purpose is to create an experience that is worthwhile and advantageous to all parties involved. Volunteers are essential to Woods Services. Those who spend time with our clients directly impact our mission statement by providing them with exposure to new people and a variety of life experiences. The friendships and development of social skills that stem from this aspect of volunteering are extremely beneficial. Volunteer Roles Available: 1:1 Buddy, Clerical Assistant, Pet therapy Handler, Recreation Assistant, Special Event Assistant, Teacher Assistant Please contact Deb Marker to explore any of these options, or more.