Kehillah Community Service Day – Working Together For a More Just and Kind World
To end an epic first week at Kehillah, students and staff volunteered throughout the Bay Area at eight different organizations for Kehillah’s Community Service Day on Friday, August 24th. This program helps students become citizens of the world who are socially aware and engaged, who desire and work for a more just and kind world, with their actions guided by compassion, critical thinking, and Jewish values.
1 Day of Kehillah Community Service Produced:
- 43 Pairs of restored shoes
- 1300 food boxes (24,000 lbs.) & 2,586 lbs. (392 cases) of grains
- Presidio invasive plant species clean-up
- Furniture restoration
- Donated clothing store set-up
- Lunch served to 600 people in 60 minutes
- and so much more!
My New Red Shoes, Redwood City:
My New Red Shoes has served more than 57,000 students in need with new shoes and clothing since 2006. The bulk of the effort is at the start of the school year, giving students an opportunity to feel special and cared for on their first day. The shoes are handed in a gift bag, with dedication card, and a gift certificate for new clothing. The organization is based solely on donations and volunteers. We were 25 volunteers from Kehillah. Together we refurbished, sorted, and tagged 43 pairs of shoes that were donated, some (very) lightly used. Restoring shoes involves deep-clean with tooth-brushes, small picks, wet-wipes, and brushes. Then, sorting size and condition, and tagging with barcodes to sorted-bins. We then created personalized cards to go with the gifts, where the positive spirit and artistic creativity shone through.
San Francisco & Marin Food Bank:
Our group of about 40 students and staff packed almost 1300 food boxes, each of which can feed an individual for a week. The ~1300 boxes represent 24,000 lbs. of food. SF & Marin Food Bank itself has a huge impact helping to feed over 250,000 people every year, and it relies on the help of volunteers like our students and staff to get that food to the people who need it most.
The Presidio, San Francisco:
Team Presidio worked on two projects. We got on hands and knees to pull up and remove Cape Ivy, an invasive species that chokes local flora. We also trimmed brush from the pathways, allowing tourists to enjoy the preserve.
Life Moves, Menlo Park:
The Life Moves crew learned about homelessness in the Silicon Valley. In particular, we learned that many of the folks coming to the shelter are employed in the local service industry settings. Rent being a struggle, illness or life’s circumstances intervene, and they can easily become homeless. Students learned that the most critical thing the clients of Life Moves need is engagement – these people have gotten used to being ignored, are often made to feel invisible, and engaging with them, showing that we care is the most important thing we can do. We also helped deep-clean the space, served lunch, and helped packaged promotional materials. Our window cleaning team did a great job! Working around the folks at LifeMoves allowed for a natural conversation to flow.
At Ecumenical Hunger Program, East Palo Alto:
Kehillah students boxed and distributed food to families in need. Those who worked in the clothes closet got to organize a donation “store” and help as families in crisis chose needed household supplies and clothing. The Kehillah students worked hard, reflected on consumerism and what we genuinely need, remarked on the often new items other families had discarded as donations and wanted to stay longer to help at the fantastic organization.
Habitat ReStore, San Carlos:
The Habitat For Humanity Restore workers got a taste of physical labor. Restore is a giant warehouse that resells donated furniture, lighting, appliances, and construction material to support its homebuilding efforts. Participants moved purchased items to a holding area, dismantled wooden pallets studded with sharp nails and screws, and even worked on a desk that they took apart, stabilized, reassembled, and loaded into a car for a delighted customer (and were rewarded with a hug and a photo).
2nd Harvest Food Bank, San Carlos:
The 2nd Harvest Food Bank student/staff crew worked together towards building a hunger-free community by packing 2,586 lbs (392 cases) of grains in just a few hours.
GLIDE, San Francisco:
GLIDE is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco working to break the cycle of poverty and marginalization. As volunteers there we served lunch to around 600 people in 60 minutes. Part of our group worked in the main dining room, predominantly on the food assembly line. We served fish, potatoes, cooked carrots, salad, bread and an apple. It was fast work, and by the time we ended our service most of us were physically exhausted. Another part of our group worked in the family and persons with disabilities room. Students in that room served food, bussed tables, and talked to many of the patrons about their lives and difficulties. After lunch was over, both groups worked on cleaning up the dining areas and restocking the kitchens with food for upcoming meals.