JFCS’s Marjorie and Robert Kohn Pledge 13 program is an excellent way for young students studying for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah to give back to their community by volunteering. As they are studying to become Jewish adults, and what it means to be a Jewish adult, they are learning through real-world experience. A large part of being a Jewish adult means practicing Tikkun Olam or repairing the world. As students learn these concepts, they are improving their communities by volunteering within them.
Sophie Snyder, a student at Louisville Classical Academy, is one of many students participating in this valuable program. For Sophie’s project, she chose to volunteer at a place that means something to her and her family. She decided to volunteer at Magnolia Springs Retirement Community where her grandmother, Gerry Snyder, has lived for almost eight years. Sophie has always loved going there to visit her grandmother, and she is very familiar with the residents, the staff, the facilities and the various programming. Sophie’s school allows students to use Mondays for study and independent activities, which gave Sophie a weekly opportunity to volunteer at Magnolia Springs.
Sophie works with the Program Director for several hours on Monday mornings, enjoying direct contact with the residents. She assists in their exercise classes and other types of activities. She also sets-up rooms for different programs and organizes storage rooms and materials.
Although Sophie has exceeded 13 hours of volunteer service already, she is continuing her volunteer work at Magnolia Springs. Several residents have approached Sophie and her family, voicing their appreciation and love for Sophie and her involvement within their community. “It’s so nice to have a young face around the building smiling and helping us stay young,” one resident remarked.
For Sophie and the residents, it has been a rewarding experience. Sophie’s participation in Pledge 13 allows her to explore her community and experience new and exciting opportunities. Sophie is a brilliant example of how Pledge 13 can affect the lives of those volunteering and those benefitting from the hours of service.
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