Nearly one in five American children go to bed hungry. Teens in Greenwich, CT, together with JCC Greenwich, sprung to action, helping to raise $1,000 for the cause.
Through a partnership with Areyvut, an New Jersey-based nonprofit organization, teenagers from JCC Greenwich met every month to learn about these local and global issues, focusing on community needs, philanthropy and valuable leadership skills. They built their own websites where they designed and sold T-shirts and held a phone-a-thon, both of which helped raise nearly $1,000. Funds were allocated to the Kosher Food Pantry of Jewish Family Service (JFS) in Stamford, where the money will be used to purchase a much-needed new freezer. JFS Kosher Food Pantry serves approximately 15,000 meals per year to members of lower Fairfield County. Funds were also donated to Leket Israel, Israel’s largest food rescue organization.
“By participating in the Teen Action Committee, I learned that teens of any age can work together to take initiative and enact change,” says Becca Powell, a rising senior at Greenwich High School. That sentiment was shared by other participants, including 16-year-old Natalie Lilien, who said, “I want to improve the lives of people in my community and become more involved in soup kitchens.”
The teenagers recognized that they are fortunate too. Fourteen-year-old Reese Ochoa said, “As a result of the project, I feel very lucky for where I live and to have food on the table.”
Leah Schechter, Assistant Director of JCC Greenwich, said, “We are so proud of what the Teen Action Committee has achieved this year in doing their part to help create a world where no child goes to bed hungry. The process has been an important learning experience for this group of teens in philanthropy and fundraising for Tzedakah.”
by Tamar Weinberg