Zachary Lipson from New City, New York will celebrate his Bar Mitzvah on November 18, 2012 but has already began his Mitzvah Project.
The first “Laps For Legs” Swim-A-Thon took place in April 2012 to benefit Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP). Zachary was diagnosed with this disease that causes progressive spastic weakness of the legs.
We asked Zachary some questions to learn more about his Mitzvah Project:
MM: Why did you decide to take on this particular Mitzvah Project?
ZL: When I found out that I had Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, I wanted to help find a cure for me and for other people who have it.
MM: In your own words, what does it mean to you to do a Mitzvah Project for your Bar Mitzvah?
ZL: My Mitzvah Project means so much to me. When I found out I had Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, I started researching all about the disorder online. The SPF foundation said they needed to raise money for research and to help find a cure. I wanted to make a difference in helping people around the world so I decided to start a fundraiser and raise money by having a Swim-A-Thon. Swimming is my favorite sport. I thought if we all stick together we will get one step closer toward finding a cure!
MM: Please give us details of your Mitzvah Project?
ZL: Before the Swim-A-Thon, I went around to many stores and restaurants asking them if they wanted to make a donation for a great cause. We also posted flyers all over town. My best friend, Eylon came with me and he helped me so much with raising money. We raised $200.00 our very first day! From that day on, I became more confident and really enjoyed telling my story to other people. Our local newspaper, the Journal News found out about my mission and featured an article on the front page of the Journal News!
MM: How did the Swim-A-Thon go?
ZL: My goal was to swim 100 laps and I did it! My friends swam with me and even people I didn’t know came to swim and show their support. It was a huge success! I raised almost $6,000 for the SPF foundation.
MM: What are you doing to spread the word about your Mitzvah Project?
ZL: We had T-shirts made and we gave T-shirts to all who swam. We also gave T-shirts to the kids in my school that made a donation. We also had wristbands made and I gave them out to many kids in school.
MM: For how long can people donate to this charity?
ZL: Whenever they want, it is ongoing. It is not going to stop here. I am thinking about starting a support group in Rockland County.
Great job Zachary! One person can make a difference. Thank you for sharing your Mitzvah Project with our readers and Mazel Tov on your Bar Mitzvah!