Alexa Cohn from Plainview, New York, is celebrating her Bat Mitzvah on June 11, 2016, at Temple Avodah in Oceanside, New York. She just had a very successful Mitzvah Project at Family Bagel in Plainview, New York, where she raised over $600 with her own lemonade stand and collected teddy bear donations for Hugs Across America.
Hugsacrossamerica.com is a nondenominational, not-for-profit charitable organization providing teddy bears, curricular materials, and messages of care to lessen the fear and anxiety experienced by children in crisis. “Hugs” has created a national network of regional response centers, or chapters, throughout the country and was started as a way to help children as a direct and intuitive response to the World Trade Center disaster.
We spoke to Alexa to learn more:
MM: Can you give us details of your Mitzvah Project?
AC: I am fundraising for Hugs Across America. This organization provides teddy bears to first responders, hospitals and kids in crisis. The teddy bears also go to kids with cancer, kids who have lost a parent and kids in foster care. I sold lemonade and collected teddy bears at Family Bagels in Plainview, New York. The money raised will go to purchasing and tagging new teddy bears. My goal is to buy as many bears as possible to support this organization.
Alexa and her friends working for a great cause
MM: Why did you decide to take on this particular project?
AC: The day I was born, my brother Ryan gave me a pig stuffed animal. Till this day, I sleep with it and always find comfort with “Piggy” and having a stuffed animal to cuddle is so helpful when I am sad or lonely. When I read about Hugs Across America, I knew I wanted this to be my Bat Mitzvah Project.
MM: In your own words, what does it mean to you to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bat Mitzvah?
AC: Doing a Mitzvah Project means that I’m giving back. I feel I have such a fortunate life and I wish that everyone could feel that way. When I’m sad I always have something to hold or something to cheer me up, and I feel like every child should be able to have someone/something to turn to when they are sad or just need something to comfort them. I hope these bears that go to children in hospitals, children in foster care, or survive difficult times, will make them feel a little better, having a new friend to hold.
MM: Does your project have a start and end date, if so what are they?:
AC: I had a lemonade on Sunday, May 29th at Family Bagels in Plainview, New York. I will be collecting donations or new bears sizes 9-14 inches.
MM: Does it involve a donation?
AC: It can involve donating money and I will buy the bears or a new bear can be donated as long as it is 9-14 inches.
MM: How are you doing to spreading the word?
AC: Through Plainview Moms website, my mom’s Facebook, my Instagram, my brother’s Instagram, flyers at my temple and Mitzvah Market!
MM: For how long can people donate to this charity?
AC: I will be collecting donations till June 26, 2016.
We thank Alexa and the Cohn family for sharing this great Project with our readers. If you would like your Mitzvah Project to benefit Hugs Across America or more information, please contact Sue Lucrelli, at firstname.lastname@example.org.