Justin Gellman of St. Louis worked with four of his friends (Michael Wielansky, Jake Bensky, Jake Brown and Brian Coulter) to create a Mitzvah Project to benefit an organization they truly believe in. And instead of creating flyers, cards or posters to promote their Project, they did something they knew their tech-savvy peers would respond to; they went digital.
Mitzvah Market Mail caught up with Justin to get the full story. Here’s what Justin shared with us, in his own words:
MM: Can you give us details about the organization you chose to incorporate into your Mitzvah Project?
Justin: Lift for Life is a charity that helps kids from disadvantaged homes. This charity takes kids away from violence and abuse that occurs in their homes. The kids are picked up at bus stops and taken to the Lift for Life gym where they can do their homework, play games, play basketball and lift weights. In fact, the weight lifting program is the best thing about the Lift for Life gym. Some kids that started lifting at Lift for Life have gone all around the world to compete for medals. This is why the charity is called LIFT for Life, because they lift to feel better about themselves.
MM: How did you spread the word to gain awareness and donations for Lift for Life?
Justin: I made a video with four of my friends inside the Lift for Life gym about the gym. We then made a Website, and put the video on the Website. This Website link was then sent out to all relatives and close friends.
Justin filming the video with his friends
MM: Why did you decide to take on this particular project and charity?
Justin: Once I visited the amazing facility I immediately knew that this was going to be the charity I was going to help.
MM: Does your project have a start and end date, if so what are they?
Justin: This project started a couple months before my Bar Mitzvah, which was earlier this month. However there is not an end to the Project. I hope to continuously go down to the gym once a month to prepare and serve a meal.
MM: In your own words, what does it mean to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bar Mitzvah?
Justin: It means giving back to my community not just by donating money, but by giving my time to make others feel good.
We want to thank Justin for sharing his story with us. To learn more about Lift for Life, please visit its Website.