On April 2nd, The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and its dozens of volunteers across the city took part in our second Community Service Day this year. This day also marked our Federation’s participation in Global Good Deeds Day. Launched in Israel 10 years ago, Good Deeds Day unites millions of volunteers through the notion and action of “doing good.”
This Community Service Day included six projects: volunteers cleaned beaches with Heal the Bay, braided Challah alongside Holocaust survivors with L’Dough V’Dough, danced with senior citizens at their very own “Senior Prom,” worked the land and bonded with animals at Shemesh Farms and Wildlife Waystation, and helped middle schoolers finesse their interviewing skills with YES Scholars.
A few volunteers shared their experiences:
Volunteer: Rachel Cotter Davis
Project: YES Scholars
“I felt [the Community Service Day] is an easy and accessible way to give back to the community. I always feel good after spending time volunteering, and this event did not disappoint. I chose to participate in the YES Scholars project because I was very involved with campus recruiting for my last employer and I believe that the interviewing process is extremely important in measuring qualities that cannot be tested or reviewed on an application. Therefore, practicing and becoming comfortable in being interviewed is invaluable. I also loved the opportunity to interact with bright, ambitious middle school children.”
Volunteer: Dallas Malloy
Project: Wildlife Waystation
“I was excited by the opportunity to be of service when my friend told me about the Federation’s upcoming Community Service Day. I had heard of the Wildlife Waystation and had wanted to come see all the precious animals, so the chance to be able to come help them in some way was something I couldn’t pass up! I chose to participate because I wanted to see these amazing animals and to be able to help them. The whole experience was such a gift. Seeing the beautiful sanctuary and meeting and learning about the animals was extraordinary. Working together as a team with others to fix up the porcupine area was exhilarating — I love hard physical work that is for good. To be around other people who understand the joy of being of service also made the day truly special and unforgettable.”
Volunteer: Heather Stillman
Project: Shemesh Farms
“The Federation’s Community Service Day sounded like a wonderful opportunity, and I am always looking to do mitzvot. The Shemesh Farms project sounded so interesting and, when living in LA, being out in the country always feels like it might be a nice respite. My favorite part of the day was to be able to expose my 4-year-old daughter to the beautiful land on the Shemesh Farms. I lived and worked on a kibbutz 30 years ago and it was wonderful to feel like I was sharing some of that experience with her in working the land and seeing all the animals.”
Thank you to all of our dedicated volunteers and partner organizations for making Good Deeds Day a success! The Federation’s next Community Service Day — Gear up for Camp Day — is on May 21st.
For more information about upcoming Community Service Days, please contact Melissa York at MYork@JewishLA.org.