Friday, April 10, 2009

Real Kids Making A Real Difference

Learn how Mitzvah Kids are putting “Mitzvah” back into their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs

Recently, People magazine had a story about Ty’Sheoma Bethea’s letter to President Obama to rebuild her rundown school. This tenacious eighth grader’s call to action was very effective. She soon found herself seated next to the First Lady and getting the President’s ear. This is yet another example of how kids are making a difference in the world.

Our children are growing up surrounded by excessive violence, exposure to hate and questionable role models, yet many of them are making a positive mark on the world through their creative and effective “Mitzvah Projects.”

According to the dictionary, a “Mitzvah” is any good or praiseworthy deed. Many children are required to come up with a Mitzvah Project as part of their Bar/Bat Mitzvah rite of passage, but many are doing “Mitzvahs” before, during and even after their official Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration.

Kids are effective agents of change when they put their minds to it. When they choose a Project they are passionate about, they can make a difference locally and globally. Mitzvah Kids have created Mitzvah Projects to raise money for Save Darfur in order to buy stoves for families in that region. Closer to home, Mitzvah Kids have organized Pancakes for Parkinson’s events to raise funds and awareness for The Michael J. Fox Foundation. And their efforts are not going unnoticed. Non-profit organizations are realizing that Mitzvah Kids and their Mitzvah Projects can make a real difference. The staff of charitable organizations works to have their organizations be considered as the beneficiaries of these Mitzvah Projects.

"At The Michael J. Fox Foundation, we have seen the power of a Mitzvah Project," says Sheila Kelly, Director of Team Fox, the Foundation’s grassroots fundraising arm. "These kids have such outstanding ideas and energy, and we are always thrilled when they choose MJFF as the beneficiary of their efforts."

Kelly is aware that yes, Mitzvah Projects can raise significant funds that benefit the Foundation, but she also acknowledges the awareness the Kids are able to raise for Parkinson's research and programs.

Most kids have that terrific quality that comes with youth and innocence: they believe that anything is possible, and with a positive attitude, you can forge ahead with an idea and find fantastic results. When you see these Mitzvah Kids in action, you see that the results are real, and they are fantastic indeed!

Maybe it will inspire adults to do a little Mitzvah or two….

Visit to read Mitzvah Kid Project Profiles.

No comments: