Volunteers explore creative virtual options for Mitzvah Day

Posted at 10:21 PM, Dec 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-25 22:21:32-05

(WXYZ) — While Christians celebrate Christmas, every year, the Jewish Community Relations Council partners with the Michigan Muslim Community Council to organize Mitzvah Day, a day to stand in unity spreading holiday cheer by giving to those in need.

In past years, large groups gathered to rehab buildings, work in homeless shelters and many other projects that just couldn’t happen due to the pandemic, but Mitzvah Day found a way. A list of organizations with needs that could be met from a safe distance or from home was created and people showed up to show they care.

Jimmy's Kids is one of the Mitzvah Day organizations dedicated to ensuring no child feels forgotten on Christmas. They've been around for 30 years. This year, the founder, Jimmy, had to stay home due to the pandemic, but his team adapted to ensure every child on their list in Southwest Detroit had presents to open Christmas morning.

They staggered volunteer arrivals and asked them to stay in their cars. Gifts were loaded onto a vehicle and then the address for delivery was given. Volunteers were asked to leave the gifts on the porch, spray them with antibacterial spray and then call the family to let them know a special delivery had been made.

Brilliant Detroit had two projects for Mitzvah Day. People could pick up boxes of supplies to take home and make kits for the kids to be dropped off the first week of January, from "learn at home" kits to hygiene kits to PPE kits.

Both the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Michigan Muslim Community Council coordinate volunteers and support for local non-profits throughout the year. Some of the Mitzvah Day opportunities are available through the holidays.

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