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On April 29, 2018, the Jewish Community of Greater El Paso has the opportunity to again participate in Good Deeds Day. GDD is an annual worldwide mitzvah day celebrated in April. On GDD, millions of people around the world choose to volunteer and help others, putting into practice the simple idea that every single person can do something good, be it large or small, to improve the lives of others and positively change the world.
GDD began in 2007 as a nationwide mitzvah day in Israel with 7,000 volunteers working on 130 projects around the country. By 2010 GDD had grown to involve 70,000 volunteers working on 1,200 projects in Israel. In 2011 GDD became an international event observed in 4 countries including the USA by over 140,000 volunteers working on over 2,000 projects. In 2012, GDD reached 50 countries worldwide and over the next several years the number of volunteers and projects grew exponentially. By 2015, almost 1 million volunteers participated in GDD and worked on 11,000 projects in 70 countries worldwide. In 2016, 1.5 million volunteers worked on 14, 000 projects in 75 countries. And last year (2017), 2.5 million volunteers from 93 countries participated in 20,000 projects, totaling over 6.7 million hours of volunteer service.
We observed GDD in El Paso / Las Cruces beginning in 2016. By 2017, we had 60 volunteers working on four social action projects: Habitat for Humanity, Jardin de Milagros, Frontera Land Alliance and Villa Maria.
Jardin de Milagros
Volunteers will be helping at a local farm that provides vegetables and fruits to local pantries and families in need. Volunteer activities will include harvesting food for local food banks. Volunteers ages 3 and over are welcome, but minors under 12 need to be accompanied by supervising adults. The project will run from 12:30 pm to 4 pm. It is important to be on time for the 12:30 pm briefing. Jardin de Milagros recommends that volunteers bring wide-brimmed hats, work gloves, and sunscreen and wear long pants, long-sleeve shirts, and closed shoes or boots. Approximately 30 volunteers are needed. (Some gloves are available on site)
Keystone Heritage Park
Volunteers will be helping with clean-up work at Keystone Heritage Park. All age volunteers are welcome, but minors need to be accompanied by supervising adults. The project will be in the afternoon. It is recommended that volunteers bring wide-brimmed hats, work gloves, and sunscreen and wear long pants, long-sleeve shirts, and closed shoes or boots.
El Paso Villa Maria is a shelter for women and homeless people who are in the process of healing to wholeness. Volunteers will be preparing, serving and sharing dinner with Villa Maria’s residents. Volunteers must be over 16 years old. The volunteer work includes planning the meal and shopping for the menu. We will be providing all food, dessert, drinks, dinner supplies, paper plates, cutlery, paper napkins, glasses, etc. Villa Maria recommends bringing aprons, hairnets and rubber gloves. The project will run from approximately 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm with dinner service at 6 pm. 8 to 10 volunteers are needed.
Children’s Project (at Temple Mount Sinai)
Temple Mount Sinai will be the site of a social action project for young children and their families. The approximate timeframe for the project will be 10 am to noon.
This is a great opportunity for all of us to participate in a Jewish Community volunteering on worthwhile projects in the greater El Paso-Las Cruces community. In addition to the wonderful satisfaction that comes from meaningful social action work, community participants will receive free t-shirts identifying our group and our participation as volunteers in international GDD-18. T-shirts will be reserved and given away on a first registered basis.
To register for GDD-18, please click the button below or call the Federation office at (915) 842-9554.
Please join us for GDD-18!