Mitzvah Project: Bands4RAINN

When Kelsey Hirsch of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania heard about the Jerry Sandusky Penn State abuse case, she realized this could be the perfect opportunity to fulfill her dream of helping others and help prevent child abuse.

Since Kelsey’s Dad is an active alumni of Penn State, he suggested that Kelsey work with Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), an organization against sexual violence. Kelsey decided to design and sell wristbands using the RAINN slogan: “HOPE. COURAGE. STRENGTH.” She has named her Mitzvah Project Bands4RAINN.

We spoke with Kelsey to learn more:

MM: In your own words, what does it mean to you to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bat Mitzvah?
: I think it means that everyone should help someone or something to make the world a better place. 

MM: Can you give us details of your Mitzvah Project?
KH: I am taking donations and selling wristbands that say “HOPE. COURAGE. STRENGTH.”  This is RAINN’s slogan and I’m raising money to help survivors to have these qualities.  I am selling the bracelets for $3 each.  They can be bought online at

MM: Why did you decide to take on this particular project?

KH: My parents explained everything about the Sandusky scandal at Penn State University and my first response was to ask how I could help.  This project is my answer.

MM: If it involves a donation, what are you doing to spreading the word?
: I have setup a twitter account @bands4RAINN and also a Facebook page at Each day we give a quote regarding “HOPE. COURAGE. STRENGTH.” We also post pictures and give information regarding survivor support and other areas that mirror my message.

MM: Does your project have a start and end date, if so what are they?:
I started the project in November 2011, when I heard about the Sandusky scandal.  While it officially ends on September 8, 2012, I hope it will continue until after I go to college (or longer).

MM: Anything else we need to know about your Mitzvah Project?
I would really like to have everyone wearing a Bands4RAINN bracelet and hope that I can build this to a national level.  While I have been featured in the Penn State “Daily Collegian” and on WPSU’s “Centre County Report,” I would like to see this grow to a more national level. Kelsey’s Bands4RAINN, her total raised has passed $5,500 and still growing.

We would like to thank Kelsey and her family for sharing her special Mitzvah Project with our readers.

Read an update about Kelsey’s Mitzvah Project here.

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