February 2020ISRAELL'CHAIM

Tikkun Olam Through Good Deeds Day 2020


By Deborah Vietor

Are your teens interested in providing global Tikkun Olam? Perhaps you are connected to some teens in your neighborhood who could benefit from involvement through service in the community. The San Diego Jewish Teen Initiative (the Initiative), launched in 2016 and funded by the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative, including the Jewish Federation of San Diego holds Motiv under their umbrella. Housed within the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, (JCC), the initiative is led by Rebecka Handler and her team.

“One of the Initiative’s largest successes is the creation of the Motiv platform. The Motiv platform is a central hub for all things service. The platform is open to teens from all backgrounds and religions. Teens interacting with the Motiv platform can come together to find and participate in service projects around the county. Motiv was created to remove the barriers that are associated with teen volunteering. We are very proud that Motiv, a branch of the San Diego Jewish Teen Initiative, is the facilitator of Good Deeds Day for high schoolers here in our community,” Handler said.

Teens volunteer at nearly twice the rate of adults, acting as agents of change. Motiv offers service awards, internships and competitions, hosting free community-wide service events for teens, highlighted by Good Deeds Day. Motiv connects with numerous community partners, providing funding and swag.

Allie Donahoo, Associate Director of the San Diego Jewish Teen Initiative said: “Since 2007 Good Deeds Day has united millions of people from around the world in the act of service. Inviting San Diego Jewish and non-Jewish teens to be a part of that, is beautiful. Tikkun Olam is a signature theme of Jewish tradition. Good Deeds Day is the perfect example of that tradition being carried on.”

The initiative aims to increase Jewish teen engagement, supporting teen educators and connecting them with Jewish life, whether through service learning, leadership opportunities, or existing programming in the Jewish community.

Founded by Israeli businesswoman Shari Arison, Good Deeds Day is based on the concept that “every single person can do something good, be it too large or small, to improve the of others and positively change the world.”

What is Good Deeds Day? It’s a global day uniting people in providing good deeds for the benefit of others and the planet. Held Sunday, March 29, 2-hour projects take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout San Diego County from Downtown to Carlsbad.

Since its inception in 2007, this event has grown from 7,000 volunteers in Israel to 3.9 million volunteers in over 100 countries during 2019, reflecting the dedication of teens continuing through. In 2019, 3,900,000 people from 108 countries participated in Good Deeds Day, totaling over 7.8 million hours of service.

Through a “one-stop-shop” platform, high school students are able to register for over 75 community service projects curated for teen volunteers each month, electronically verifying their service hours.

Motiv project values have increased greatly within the past 4 years. For 2017, there were 17 projects with 168 volunteers and 168 sign ups. To date the estimated numbers for 2020 include 32 projects with approximately 400 high school teen sign ups.

Last year on Good Deeds Day, teens sorted clothing donations at Sharia’s closet, repaired cat enclosures at the Humane Society, distributed care kits to the homeless downtown with Wahupa Upward Bound, and were involved in countless other projects.

“By offering a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, teens have the ability to choose projects that match their passions. It’s about showing teens what meaningful service looks like and what opportunities are available, to inspire service throughout the year,” Motiv manager Michael Nimer said.

High school teens, including those from 9th -12th grade can volunteer as an individual with a group, including high school groups, service clubs or religious organizations, with funding reserved for high school students.

Participating organizations may host their own service project, or recruit teens to the numerous service projects currently participating, receiving up to $250 in reimbursement for supplies. In addition to San Diego, the Jewish teen sites include 10 communities across the United States. This connects a broader national effort of funders existing in new models for community based Jewish education and engagement. Interested in participating, hosting, organizing a group of volunteers or learning more information?

To learn more, contact Michael Nimer at michaeln@motivsandiego.org or (858) 362-1138. Volunteers may sign up for projects once registration opens in March on https://motivsandiego.org/gdd/.



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