In our quest to keep The Mitzvah Bowl’s stock updated with souper good deeds, our staff has compiled a list of Mitzvah Project Ideas collected from a variety of B’nai Mitzvah students, synagogues, friends, organizations, and very creative people! We hope this helps you explore more ideas to create your own community service project.
- Find an animal rescue facility or contact your local SPCA to see how you may help. Many shelters and rescues have volunteer age restrictions or require you to help with a parent. Inquire within.
- Ask your clergy or synagogue director to help organize a ‘Bark Mitzvah’ event. Bake dog treats, map out a dog walk and plan a way to fundraise. Donate the funds to a dog rescue or animal shelter of your choice.
- Want to save an endangered species? Start a petition on Change.org and get your friends and family to sign it.
- Find a therapeutic horseback riding facility near you to help in the barn, brush the horses and give a hand to the riders.
- Organize an art show using original student artwork and donate the proceeds to a cause.
- Brighten up a homeless shelter with children’s artwork created through an original art contest.
- Organize a photography show with original student photographs.
- Become the historian for a community organization and take pictures at their events.
- Collect the photos and organize them into scrapbooks.
- Videotape your town’s history by interviewing the historical society, researching books in the library, and finding old maps of how the town has evolved. Ask the township to feature your video on their website.
- Invite friends to a pottery store to decorate vases (or purchase paintable vases at an art store). Fill the vases with flowers and bring them to a rehabilitation center to brighten the patients’ rooms.
- If you are handy with woodwork, build doghouses and contact an animal rescue shelter to donate your creations.
- Coordinate painting a mural at a shelter.
- Direct, choreograph and produce your own theater production as a summer project.
- Bake desserts and sell them to raise funds for an organization important to you or your family.
- Find a Meals that Matter or Caring Congregants program in your synagogue to help cook or bake meals for the food insecure.
- A local soup kitchen may need help during dinner service. Contact your United Way to find volunteer opportunities there.
- Bake a dessert or dinner for a family going through a crisis. Deliver the meal in person.
- Help a library purchase new materials by organizing your own used book sale.
- Collect books from friends and family and donate them to an inner-city school without a library or a domestic abuse safe house for families.
- Offer to read to young children at a tutoring center or preschool.
- Start an Anti-Bullying campaign in your school or community by creating flyers, presenting to an audience, and getting in touch with the local newspapers to help you spread the word. Have your friends sign a petition and see how many anti-bullying pledges you can obtain.
- Organize a neighborhood block party to build a sense of community. Earmark the funds towards a neighborhood beautification or recycling project.
- Contact an nursing home and organize a Scrabble tournament or Bingo game to be enjoyed by both young and young at heart.
- Organize a car wash at a school. Donate the proceeds to your favorite charity.
- Start a jump rope contest for your synagogue’s youth group. Have each participant bring a toy under $5 to donate to a toy drive.
- Arrange a rollerskating party. Have each friend attending bring a non-perishable snack to donate for a food pantry.
- Host a sleepover party. Stay up all night baking cookies and bring them the next day to a 4H program, neighborhood youth program or family services center.
- Collect old dance shoes and leotards to donate to kids who can’t afford them.
- Hold a dance marathon at a studio to raise money for a charity.
- Host a dance instruction party for special needs children at your dance studio.
- Collect school supplies and donate them to a classroom in need.
- Conduct a ‘read-a-thon’ in your school. Challenge the students to read an hour each day after school. The winning student will log the most reading hours.
- Help a backpack drive in your local community. These usually take place towards the end of the summer to prepare for the start of school.
- Organize a recycling program in your school or synagogue.
- Become a spokesperson to save endangered species.
- Campaign for the environment, whether its anti-fracking or clean water, and become a community advocate.
- Start your own summer vegetable garden (start it late April/early May) and donate the crops to a food bank. Read about how this teen did it!
- Teach others how to save our natural resources.
- Organize a bake sale as a fundraiser for a cause.
- Begin a healthy eating campaign at school. Enlist the help of the physical education teacher and guidance counselor.
- Collect non-perishable food donations from friends and family to donate to your local food bank.
- Find out how you can donate your leftover bar/bat mitzvah party food to those in need. Your caterer can help.
- Through your local United Way or soup kitchen, find a program where you may help serve food to those in need.
- Have your school sponsor a chess tournament for local students. By charging a registration fee, you may raise funds for a local charity of your choice.
- Start a senior center game night and bring friends to play bingo or cards with the residents.
- Host a video gaming night at your home. Charge an entry fee and use the collected funds to purchase an Ipad for a sick child in need.
- Play ‘Be Nice Bingo’. Read more about it here.
- Collect & recycle Halloween costumes from your friends and neighbors.
- Support this Halloween organization, created by two friends who wanted to help others.
- Bring your leftover candy (unopened) to a homeless shelter or domestic abuse center for families. Most of these children probably didn’t go trick-or-treating.
- Write a song for charity.
- Invite friends and family over for a karaoke night. Charge an entry fee and donate the funds to a charity of your choice.
- Collect instruments for inner city music programs in need of funding and equipment.
- Take your band on the road for a school performance. Sell tickets and donate the proceeds to a music program in need.
- Spread cheer to children or senior citizens by visiting them at a local shelter or nursing home and playing your instrument or singing.
- Become a birder and educate the public about birds. Learn more by volunteering at a local zoo.
- Put together a drive to recycle electronics. Promote it through your synagogue, school, and neighborhood with flyers. Ask the recycling company to donate a portion of their proceeds to the charity of your choice.
- Teach others in your community how to recycle and help save our planet.
- Become a ‘Buddy’ for a special needs child or teen. Friends are hard to come by for these children and you could make a big difference in someone’s life by getting together 2-3x/month.
- Play with a special needs sports team in your community. You’ll reap great rewards!
- Offer to help special needs children in your middle or high school by sitting with them at lunch or joining a buddy organization which meets after school
- Join a special needs sports team and become a buddy in the sport you enjoy most!
- Collect equipment for those in areas of the U.S. or abroad who don’t have access to good sporting items.
- Organize a sporting tournament to help promote a cause. Charge a fee to play and donate the money to that cause.
- Design a website for a cause.
- Designate a ‘no cell phone’ area near your school. Promote safe driving and the use of hand-free devices.
- Collect old computers for those in need.
- Teach email, surfing the web, and document creation to the elderly.
- Create a video montage of an event or cause for a non-profit limited on funding.
- Develop a Public Service Announcement video to be shown in your school about a topic which interests you and is meaningful
- Start a Hat, Coat or Gloves/Mittens drive for the homeless and needy.
- Write a book about a topic which interests you.
- Write a poem about a topic of concern.
- Write letters to politicians about your cause or political views.
- Record and write the life story of an elderly friend or family member for example, a
- Holocaust survivor!
- Design & create a recipe book that can be sold through your synagogue’s sisterhood or at a school event n which the proceeds benefit a charity of your choice.