While Hanukkah is fun for kids because they get to load up on presents, many families have adopted the idea that it’s great to help others and share our good fortune during the Festival of Lights.
The St. Paul JCC has embraced this with their second annual event that will bring together the community for a day of giving and fun.
Be The Light! A Community Hanukkah Celebration of Giving will take place on Sunday, Dec. 22 from 1-3:30 p.m at the St. Paul JCC. The event will have everything you’d expect out of a Hanukkah party, but with a twist.
“There will be crafting, music, a Maccabee hammer game, crafts, and the dreidel game,” said Tracey Agranoff, the Jewish Life & Family Coordinator at the St. Paul JCC. “But families can also do hands-on community service.”
The hands-on opportunities include making sandwiches for the hungry with Minneapolis Recreation Development and Care Mitzvah, where people can assemble care bags to distribute to people in the community who may need personal care items.
In addition to the hands-on Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) projects, there are four community organizations that are collecting items for people in need: Pajama Program, Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, Tubman, and NCJW-Periods Happen. Check the event website for more details on the particular items that are needed.
“This event is an opportunity for our community to participate in a meaningful way,” Agranoff said. The giving goes beyond toys. What do people really need this time of year? How can we help?
Agranoff, whose office is located right in the middle of the early childhood center, said she hears from families how much they like the focus on Tikkun Olam.
“We are building upon the success of last year’s event,” said Agranoff. “Not only are the recipients of the event grateful for the donated items, but the community was thrilled to come together in this way. It is really special to provide an opportunity for adults and kids to share in the ‘mitzvot’ of giving.”