The following essay on community service was written by Jacob Genick, a middle schooler, enrolled in City Congregation’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah program. Students spend a year and a half researching their heritage, values and beliefs, and write on a Jewish subject of their choice, their major project; they also perform 13 hours of community service, and write about it. An example of this component can be seen below. The process improves both the student’s writing and critical thinking skills, as well as their self confidence and overall maturity.
Boca Helping Hands is an organization that provides residents in Boca Raton, Florida basic human needs and resources such as education, medication, and transportation support. As soon as I walked into Boca Helping Hands, I felt that volunteers wanted to be there because they wanted to make a difference. I want to tell you about my experience at this amazing charity.
My grandfather, Mike Genick, works on the transportation committee. He helps people who are below a certain income get transportation passes such as metro cards. I needed community service hours, and I knew that my grandfather worked at a charity, so helping people and getting the hours would be a win-win. He introduced me to Boca Helping Hands and I was hooked. Helping to make peoples’ everyday lives better really spoke to me.
I worked in the food division, making sandwiches and packaging silverware. I passed out the silverware when the clients came. I met amazing people who helped me with the sandwiches and handing out silverware. There was a sense of community in everything we were doing, even something as simple as getting the juice for the clients. We were always communicating with each other. It was very rewarding to see the smiles on the clients’ faces when I handed them utensils.
It was also very fulfilling to help the people who were less fortunate than I am. The look on my parents’ faces when I was doing what they thought was responsible was great. Working with the type of people who I have not worked with before, such as people who do not speak English at all, made me feel very productive and accomplished. I feel like volunteering at Boca Helping Hands will be a very good thing in the long run.
The experience itself was fun. I got to go to my grandfather’s office where I saw him handing out metro cards to people. That was very cool to see my grandfather do that. To know that even though he is retired and can do pretty much whatever he wants, he still donates time to help others in need.
The fact is, I thought that this experience would be… interesting. I didn’t really know what to expect or how much I was going to get my hands dirty. But I can now say that I am a volunteer of Boca Helping Hands, and that is really amazing. I really loved the experience. Knowing that I am making a difference and helping out in society made me feel proud and responsible. I had a great time at Boca Helping Hands. I completed another four hours in February!
I also sang at a benefit for my music school. I sang an original song that I wrote. Most of the people here know that I am a singer. Singing and acting are my passion. I really felt great because I was making money and supporting my music school while doing the thing I love most.
I also donated clothes that I grew out of. I gave the clothes to Housing Works and to other people we knew who needed clothes for their children to wear. I did this because I didn’t want to just throw away things I didn’t need anymore. I wanted to give my clothes to other people because they were less fortunate than I am.
I will donate a portion my gift money to Boca Helping Hands. I hope that the money will be used to get more fresh food. They are an amazing charity and I am happy to support them.