Apr 2, 2015
Super Sunday/Good Deeds Day Counts Up Success: Over $400,000 Raised, Over 20,000 Meals Assembled
This Super Sunday, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County not only banked on the Jewish community to once again make and answer hours of Phone-A-Thon calls. In addition to the hundreds of volunteers making calls, they also counted on a couple hundred more to observe Good Deeds Day by assembling kosher meal kits.
“The community clearly came through on both counts, and we weren’t at all surprised,” said Bryan Drowos, who co-chaired the day with his wife Joanna, and Michele & Ken Pritzker. “From throughout our area and of all ages, stages of life and Jewish backgrounds, our volunteers joined forces here on our 100-acre Federation campus to raise $401,089 and counting in just one day together. Through our Annual Campaign, these dollars will make an enormous difference for our Jewish community and our people in Israel and other countries where our help is needed.”
“It was so exciting to see so many people streaming in to fill the room full of meal assembly tables, so eager to fulfill a mitzvah for our community,” added Michele Pritzker. “Working alongside family members, school friends, neighbors and new acquaintances – all in identical green protective head coverings - in only two hours, they put together 20,736 meal kits for recipients of the Jacobson Family Food Pantry at JFS.
“And, with PJ Library®, younger children were learning about mitzvot with their parents just down the hall,” continued Pritzker. “They enjoyed a PJ Library tzedakah story, decorated tzedakah boxes to take home and their own hands-on food activity.”
Working the phones during three two-hour shifts throughout the day, each volunteer contributed to the spirited energy in Zinman Hall as Super Sunday calls were made, successful pledges were excitedly announced, great raffle prizes were awarded, and the community synergy was palpable in this important effort. The spirit came from throughout the community as many volunteers sat at tables with others involved with a school or agency, or with neighbors from a country club.
Even newcomers could be counted upon.
Rabbi Glenn Ettman of Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach at FAU got to the phones early with his wife, Nicole. By the time they left to pick up their 4-month old, Nicole was decked out in more than fifteen colorful strings of beads, one for each donation she’d logged. “When we moved here only about six months ago, this community welcomed us and our new baby with open arms,” said Rabbi Ettman. “Today gave us a wonderful way to show our appreciation, give back and meet even more caring people in South Palm Beach County.”
Janis Light, who had recently moved to Boca Raton, took to the phones with her daughter, Hannah, on break from Duke University, and her cousin Lauren Frances of Los Angeles, to honor the memory of Lauren’s mother, Barbara Glitzer, who had just passed away locally. “My mother’s life was about protecting and sustaining the Jewish people in a world that doesn’t always value them,” said Lauren. “She was a committed fundraiser and an endowed Lion of Judah in both the Palm Beach and Middlesex, NJ communities. So we looked for an opportunity to carry on her passion and make her proud of us.” Deeply moved by the experience and the connections she made, Janis became a Lion of Judah, herself, right at the phone table.
Delegations from AEPi fraternity and local teen groups also boosted spirits as well as the fundraising efforts.
At least one first-time teen caught the spirit quickly. Arianna Schonwald, 17, a student at Donna Klein Jewish Academy, took to the phones with other members of her March of the Living Class, who are headed to Poland and Israel in a couple of weeks. On one of her first calls, a man who hadn’t donated for several years pledged $500. Asked how it felt, Arianna said enthusiastically, “It felt awesome!”
All over the world, hundreds of thousands of people choose to volunteer on Good Deeds Day and put 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. Good Deeds Day began in 2007 by businesswoman and philanthropist, Shari Arison, and launched and organized by Ruach Tova (NGO), a part of The Ted Arison Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Arison Group. It has been observed every March since then, and keeps growing. More information is available at Good-deeds-day.org. Good Deeds Day 2015 involves 900,000 good deed doers from the full spectrum of society, in more than 50 countries worldwide.
Super Sunday was generously sponsored by Barclays, BNY Mellon Wealth Management, Greenberg Traurig, Greenspoon Marder Law, HJ Sims, The Marton Bute Marcus Wealth Management Group/Merrill Lynch, and by In-Kind Sponsors Atlas Party Rental and Hotwire Communications. Many others became Telephone Underwriters at $100 per phone, or Hunger Heroes At $100 per sponsored family.
If you missed your call on Super Sunday, it’s not too late to contribute at jewishboca.org/donate or by calling 561.852.5002.