Melissa of Mechanicsville, VA, will be Bat Mitzvahed later this fall. As part of her rite of passage, she organized a Mitzvah Project that you might say is completely “hands on.” Her thoughtful project really shows how a simple gesture, like helping others with yard work, can make a big difference, especially in the lives of those suffering from ALS, or Lou Gerhig’s Disease. Melissa also recognizes that the project allowed people within her temple and her community to work together.
Mitzvah Market caught up with Melissa to learn more about her Project. Here are the details, in her own words:
Why did you decide to take on this particular project and this particular charity?
A few years ago, I did something similar for Mitzvah Day at my temple, where everyone at my temple participates in different Mitzvahs. I really enjoyed helping people with ALS so I decided that doing the yard work for ALS families was what I wanted to do for my Mitzvah Project.
In your own words, what does it mean to you to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bat Mitzvah?
It means a lot because the group of volunteers I got together (they were kids from my Sunday school class and their families, along with kids from my sister’s Sunday school class and their families) and I helped people who have a horrible disease that affects their ability to move.
Can you give us details of your Mitzvah Project?
I got in touch with the person from my temple that coordinated doing yard work for ALS families last time, and he gave me the name of a person at the ALS Association. I then got in touch with her by going on the Internet and looking up the Website the person from my temple gave me and calling the phone number on the Website. After talking with her, I set up a date to do the yard work for ALS families. I then gathered a group of volunteers from my temple. The person from the ALS Association gave me names of three ALS families that live in the Richmond area. I separated my group of volunteers into three groups. Then on July 26th, we all went to our separate houses and did yard work. Afterwards, to build some community, we all had lunch together.
We want to thank Melissa and her parents for letting us share her story with you! We hope that as the leaves start to fall, we might all be inspired to get out there and help those in need!