In the lead up to a Bat or Bar Mitzvah, young Jews like to include a charity component in their celebration. No one likes a boiler plate, cookie cutter idea, but the following is an outline of options and tools that can be helpful when trying to organize a charity component to your Bat or Bar Mitzvah.
Volunteering sounds like a perfect option for someone transitioning into adulthood. The fact of the matter is that, in the hustle and bustle of a kitchen, an 11 or 12 year old is not particularly helpful. Masbia's general rule is that you need to be at least 14 years old to come and volunteer. However, if you would like to volunteer, Masbia will make special accommodations for Bat and Bar Mitzvah youth who come to volunteer together with an adult. When signing up to volunteer, remember to mention your Bat or Bar Mitzvah so our volunteer coordinator will know to accommodate. Click here to sign up.
While cash is the most expedient and efficient way for Masbia to help feed the needy, we understand that some kids and young adults might find a food drive a little more hands on. The truth is that food drives are usually very inefficient. The randomness in the food items that get collected and the logistics of boxing it and schlepping it, often becomes a logistical nightmare. And to make matters worse, Masbia staff is then left to figure out how to distribute the collection of foods in an equitable way to clients, which is very tricky. To minimize these problems and to make your food drive more effective, we have a few suggestions about how to go about it:
1. Single Item Food Drive: Limit the number of food items you collect to one or two items, such as canned salmon or tuna. That way you will end up with a large number of the same item which makes it much easier for a soup kitchen to distribute equitably among clients. Need help in making a flier, or publicizing your food drive? Click here.
2. Wholesale Food Drive: Write your favorite Kosher food vendors and let them know you are collecting food for Masbia in honor of your Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and ask them to make a donation. You can also try your local supermarkets. Click here to see examples of a letter you can write and other tools.
3. DIY Packages: Choose a food you particularly like, or if your Bat or Bar Mitzvah falls close to a Jewish holiday, choose a traditional holiday food, and collect the ingredients to make that dish (challah, kugel, babka, hamentaschen, etc.). Remember, stick to recipes that call for mostly shelf-stable ingredients, such as flour, sugar, salt, oil, jam, peanut butter, etc. Then create individual bags with those ingredients which can be distributed to clients. Click here for more tools.
Bake Sales - MASBIA'S CHOICE:
Bake Sales are the Masbia's choice for a young adult friendly, effective charity activity. A typical bake sale would have a hands-on baking component, where the child and parents could bake and sell their baked goods on a given date. But it should also have a virtual component, where you set up a page where people can donate. See options and tools for a successful bake sale here.