On Sunday, June 2nd, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles held its third Community Service Day of 2019 by continuing the over 20-year tradition of hosting our annual Gear Up for Camp Day. Volunteers, camp staff, and first-time campers and their families trekked to Glendale to enjoy a memorable day at Camp Bob Waldorf.
Federation volunteers assembled camper care kits, prepared the garden beds in the greenhouse, served lunch, and assisted staff with camp activities. Children and their family members visited and became acquainted with Camp Bob Waldorf, the resident camp operated by our partner Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles. Children of all faiths and backgrounds come to the camp over the summer and will receive camper care kits upon their arrival, comprised of donated supplies to make sure they are properly equipped to enjoy a five-day session.
45 Federation volunteers spanning ages 5 to 75 came out to help. Elysia Lippman had this to say about her volunteer experience:
“My family and I had a great time at Gear Up for Camp Day. It was so rewarding to give back as a family of four. We feel that the Federation does the most good for the community, Jewish and otherwise. My husband and his family have been active in the Federation since before he was born and we thought a day of action would be a great introduction to a small piece of what the Federation does for our daughters, ages 5 and 7. We jumped at the opportunity to contribute to Gear Up for Camp Day because it was an activity we could do together as a family. We spoke on the way there about giving our time to make other people’s day, and my daughters were very proud to have made a camper feel more comfortable and really enjoyed making the handmade cards for them.“
Bruce Miller, another Federation volunteer, told us why Gear Up for Camp Day appealed to him: “Why do I volunteer for Gear Up for Camp Day? To see the look on the kids’ faces as they get a taste of camp life — priceless!”
Some of the other volunteers shared the following when asked what the highlights of the day were for them:
- “Being able to help set up camp that will make a lifelong impact on the lives of the children attending.”
- “The memory I will treasure for a long time is when I helped transition a timid and nervous young girl to actually let go of her mother’s hand and toss bean bags. As she learned to take her time, focus, and actually aim, the very happy grin that appeared on her face lit up my heart and is not one I will soon forget.”
- “Supervising the GaGa games. One of the little girls made me a cookie, and one of the boys asked if I was going to be there for the summer.”
Additionally, Gear Up for Camp Day would not be possible without the support of local sponsors, listed below, who so generously donated their time and resources to help make this event a success.
- Agron Inc.
- Command Packaging
- Ella Fitzgerald Foundation
- Harris Stationers
- L’Oreal USA
- Pacific Knitting Mills
- PWS Laundry
- Rest Haven Motel
- Shelter Partnership
- Shugar Soapworks
- Snak King
- Trader Joe’s
- The Vanderlyn
- Western Bagels
Zach Lasker, Director of Camp Bob Waldorf, shared, “They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we are so grateful to the volunteers from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles for joining the Camp Bob Waldorf village. In just one morning they helped us practice the value of hachnasat orchim (welcoming strangers) by assembling welcome bags for all our campers and engaging new campers and their families in a summer orientation program. We are so blessed to be partners in creating meaningful opportunities for kids!”
Thank you to everyone who participated in making this a memorable camp day. We hope you’ll make plans to join us at our next Community Service Day on Sunday, August 25th!
For more information about Community Service Days with The Jewish Federation, please contact Volunteer@JewishLA.org.