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 Ingredient 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 procure 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 information about this option.
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.
There are different ways of doing a bake sale depending on what one wants to emphasize. Masbia recommends combining both a baking component and a virtual component, regardless of how one goes about doing it. One can choose to go heavy on the baking side and create a big event with tons of baked goods for sale and invite as many people to the event to buy the goods. One can choose to do all the baking oneself, or one can create a "potluck" style bake sale where one invites friends and family to each bake something to sell at the event. Alongside that one can set up an online page, which one can promote leading up to the sale and use as one's collection site during the actual sale (See an example of such a bake sale here).
Or, instead one can decide to use the 'bake sale' as a more symbolic way of launching an online fundraiser. For this option, one can choose to bake a symbolic amount of baked goods to sell at a parent's workplace or at a local park like a lemonade sale, and focus instead on the online fundraiser side of it, avoiding the challenge of getting people to show up to an event.
The following are helpful tools for hosting a bake sale:
It is a long standing Jewish tradition to share a celebration with those is need. Masbia offers many ways to share a personal occasion such as a Wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or Shiva with the hungry at Masbia. You can choose to host an event at Masbia, or donate on behalf of your guests, or offer your guests a "In Lieu of Gift" option to donate themselves. Masbia is happy to accomodate individual needs and ideas for your personal occasion. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
"In Lieu of Gifts"
Thank you for sharing this joyous occasion with us.
In keeping with a longstanding Jewish tradition, we decided to share our moment of joy with those less fortunate, by sponsoring ____ number of meals (at $6 a meal) at Masbia soup kitchen in honor of our celebration. Together with you and all our guests we hope to raise that number and make a difference in the lives of many hungry people. We are requesting that, instead of giving us a gift, you consider sponsoring meals at Masbia by filling out the inside panel.
Masbia (“satiate” in Hebrew), a non-profit soup kitchen network, provides nourishing meals to hungry men, women and children with dignity and respect. To follow the progress, go to www.masbia.org
Current Ongoing Celebratory Events
Masbia soup kitchen network is where the rubber meets the road in the fight against hunger. We feed hot, nutritious meals to hungry men, women and children. No statistics. No bureaucracy. No middleman. We deposit food in empty stomachs.
Masbia is a nonprofit soup kitchen network and food pantry, everyday providing hot, nutritious meals for hundreds of New Yorkers in desperate need of food. Alongside our hot-meal program, we also give out bags of much needed groceries every week to those with not enough at home, through our weekend take-home package program. Masbia works to not only feed the hungry, but to provide free, wholesome, and delicious meals for people in a restaurant-style environment, with volunteer waiters serving each person with respect and dignity.