Mitzvah Project Pointers
by Jessica Mindich from Jewelry For A Cause
A dear friend of mine found herself in a “psycho mom moment” because two weeks before the big event, her daughter still had not picked a Mitzvah Project. This normally sane mom found herself screaming at the top of her lungs, “NO MITZVAH PROJECT, NO BAT MITZVAH” as she stormed out of the room. Somehow, the meaning of a Mitzvah Project has been lost on so many already overscheduled and stressed out 13-years-olds.
It is important to remember that kids are more interested in projects that have special meaning to them. They often have limited time and attention, so if the project they have chosen doesn’t really interest them they will have forgotten about it before they ever get started.
Here are some tips for helping your child choose a more meaningful Mitzvah Project:
1. Make sure that the chosen project reflects the interests of the child. This is not YOUR Mitzvah Project.
2. Make sure your child sets realistic goals for the project. Help your child to consider the time commitment and the logistics involved in making it happen.
3. A child will connect more with the project when they can see and/or hear about what their hard work has done. Consider planning a family trip to visit the project beneficiary or become family pen pals with a member of the group your child is helping.
4. Think hip and cool. Being 13 is such a tough age! Have a video game marathon for charity, make hip jewelry, t-shirts, CDs, etc. and sell them to raise money for an organization that interests your child. Ask your school to get involved and use the local media to raise the profile of the efforts.
5. Write a rap and get it on iTunes to be downloaded for charity.
Anything and everything goes. Just remember there is no “right” way to do a Mitzvah Project just as there is no “right” way to do a Mitzvah. It is about your child, and there is no one else like him or her!