BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Dozens of volunteers spent part of their Christmas Day helping their fellow man, proving what the season is all about — no matter your religion.
“A Mitzvah is something we ought to do, and is something that is good to do.” an event organizer told WJZ’s Jonathan McCall.
An army of volunteers filled bags of joy at a Baltimore community center for Mitzvah Day. A heartwarming gesture for those often left in the cold during the holiday season.
“This is my first Mitzvah Day,” volunteer Rachel Thomas said.
For the last 12 years, members of Baltimore’s Jewish community have used the holiday not as a day off, but as a day on to give back to the community.
Volunteers put together 2,000 winter packages filled with toiletries, socks, gloves, hand-made cards from kids and hand-knitted scarves and hats. Others had a sweeter task: making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Dorothy Gold says it’s just one of the many ways the volunteers gave back.
“At one table, we have people making pillows for cardiac patients. We have people making stress balls to give to nursing homes,” Gold said.
The pillows Thomas is making will be used by cardiac patients at Sinai Hospital.
“I just think it’s good to be around community, around the holidays and give back,” Thomas said.
Even the little ones are learning the lesson behind the event — something Lauren Schleifer is happy to pass on.
“I think it’s very important to give back, and especially teach our kids what it means to help other people,” Schleifer said.
With their gift of time, volunteers helped thousands of people in need, just in time for the holiday.
In just a few weeks, volunteers will be making thousands of hygiene kits for refugees across the world.