“Whenever I give tzedakah I feel I’m reflecting Mimi, my grandma.”
My first time giving tzedakah (charitable giving) was at the age of six. My grandma, Susan Arnovitz, who I called “Mimi,” started a fund so that each of her grandkids could pick a charity and make a donation. I was the oldest of Mimi’s eight grandchildren, so I went first. She took me down to the Federation building where I learned about the things I care most about. I decided to give my tzedakah to a charity that sends Israeli kids to summer camp.
When I was finally old enough, I went to Jewish overnight camp with some of my cousins and completely fell in love. Shabbat at camp was amazing with singing and dancing and the feeling of really connecting with Hashem in nature. My best friends are my camp friends and I can’t wait to see them each summer.
When I thought about a project for my bat mitzvah, I wanted to continue to provide an opportunity for kids to go to Jewish overnight camp. I learned about One Happy Camper grants for first and second time campers and decided it was perfect. On my bat mitzvah website I created a section for people to donate to One Happy Camper.
I raised $2,400 from friends and family, then added $600 of my bat mitzvah gift money, which my parents matched. I am excited to think my $3,600 contribution to One Happy Camper will give other kids the privilege of going to Jewish camp. It feels great to be a philanthropist, and even though she is no longer with us, I know that Mimi is smiling.
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