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Mitzvah Day is one of the most rewarding and engaging days on the Temple Shalom calendar. On this wonderful day, the entire Temple Shalom community comes together to work to repair our world and make it a better place through service projects. Below are descriptions of some of the projects we work on for Mitzvah Day. Our whole One Family community is encouraged to participate in these projects. Projects take place at the temple (with the exception of food packing at Harry Chapin Food Bank) and start at 9:30am.

Mitzvah Day 2022 is scheduled for Sunday, January 23. Activities on Mitzvah Day include:

Harry Chapin Food Bank – Food Packing

Temple Shalom Men’s Club has arranged for the Harry Chapin Food Bank of SW Florida to be open on January 23rd (Mitzvah Day) for members of the Men’s Club (as well as anyone else who wants to volunteer) to pack food into boxes. We will be there from 9:30 to about noon. We all know the great work that the Harry Chapin Food Bank does and the packing of these boxes is essential for their distribution activities. If you are interested in working at the Harry Chapin Food Bank on 1/23/2022, please e-mail Ed Cohen ( It goes without saying that there will also be a need for volunteers at Temple Shalom.

Baking for St. Matthew’s House

St. Matthew's House will be the recipient of a variety of baked goods brought to Temple Shalom on Mitzvah Day.  Goodies are being baked by members of BBYO; purchased with a donation from the Temple Shalom Sisterhood; and members who would like to contribute their own baked goods from their homes. All goodies (cookies, brownies, etc) will be packed and labeled with a Temple Shalom sticker before being brought to the St, Matthew's soup kitchen and residents who live on campus. You are all welcome to help. Please contact Bobbi Katz ( or Marcy Cotton (

Children’s Books and Stuffed Animal Collection

The mission of the SWFL Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) is to provide a coordinated response, including a safe destination, to child victims of abuse and neglect, from ages newborn through 17 years. In addition, the CAC endeavors to improve the lives of “at risk” children and their families through follow-up prevention services.
Mitzvah Day is including the CAC as a beneficiary and requesting donations of new books and new stuffed animals for ages newborn through 17 years old. Each recipient of CAC’s services is given a stuffed animal and an age-appropriate book, from their collection, to keep.

Give Blood!

The Talmud teaches that whoever saves a life is considered to have saved the whole world. On Mitzvah Day at Temple Shalom, Sunday, January 23rd, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. you can donate blood and help to save a life.  Let us know if you wish to reserve an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome but those with appointments will be accommodated at their specified time. Text Jane Perman (239-287-9241) or Alicia Feldman (239-571-0565) to reserve a time. Contact Jane by email ( with any questions you may have about eligibility to donate. Cookie bakers are welcome, too. Thanks.

New Shoes and Socks for Needy Kids!

IT’S A SHOE Drive TO BENEFIT LACES OF LOVE! All Shoes go directly to children in need! Bring a new pair of shoes - sizes 1-8 needed, for both boys and girls. Only new shoes and sneakers, please. And/or a new pair of socks! All sizes for School age children! No toddler or baby shoes please. Or make a monetary donation (checks payable to ‘Laces of Love’) – Please note, there is no paid staff. All donations go to help the kids. For more information, go to, or contact Liz Jaffe (

Butterfly Garden Refresh

It's been two years since we planted our beautiful butterfly garden at the religious school entrance. So, it is time for a little trimming and plant refreshing! We need a few volunteers with green thumbs to bring their light gardening tools and help freshen up the butterfly garden. If you are feeling artistic, come and decorate a river rock with a butterfly mosaic for the garden. Contact Judy Belmont,

Meals of Hope

Meals of Hope is a 501(c)3 organization which provides meals to people in need in our area. Traditionally, we have done a large packing event at Temple Shalom on Mitzvah Day, during which we are able to pack 50,000 meals in a morning!  Since the pandemic hit, our local Meals of Hope has provided nearly three times their usual number of meals to our food-insecure neighbors! They currently provide 3,500 meals per week in Collier and Lee counties. Let’s help them out! We could use lots of help packing the meals on Mitzvah Day, and monetary donations are welcome to help underwrite the cost of the meal ingredients. For information about Meals of Hope, www.MealsofHope.orgTo volunteer, RSVP to Contact Don Belmont with questions (

Collection of Toiletry Packets

As of April 2018, there were 1,367 students identified as homeless in Collier County Schools. There are approximately 45,000 children in Collier County schools. Therefore, approximately 1 in every 36 school children in Collier County are homeless. These homeless children lack even the basic hygienic necessities (soap, deodorant, toothbrushes) to stay clean and healthy. If they are not healthy, they cannot attend school, which for many homeless children is not only a place to learn, but a place where they receive food, shelter, health care, and a safe place to rest. On Mitzvah Day our Temple Shalom family has the opportunity to, working in conjunction with the Homeless Student Liaison for Collier County Schools, help these children by collecting and packing travel size cosmetics to be provided to them through the guidance counselors at their schools. By participating in this project, we are helping the children stay clean and healthy so that they can attend school every day. Please contact Jennifer for information on volunteering for this project.

Bedtime Bundles

Children often arrive at the women’s shelter with their mothers and only the clothes they are wearing. This arrival, sometimes taking place late at night, can be a very stressful experience for them. Bedtime Bundles, a children-helping-children project, is designed to offer a comforting hand at a very difficult time. The Temple Shalom religious school children help collect and assemble all new bedtime items sorted by age and gender including a pair of pajamas, toothbrush, toothpaste, a bar of soap, a story book, and a stuffed animal. The items are placed in a pillowcase that has been decorated by our children and marked with the age and gender of the child for whom the items are intended. Upon arrival at the women's shelter, shelter staff members give each child an appropriate Bundle to use and keep.

Beading for Betterment

The Beading for Betterment project makes beaded jewelry for the children at the Guadalupe Center to give to their mothers and grandmothers for Mother’s Day. On Mitzvah Day we usually have 5-8 tables in the social hall and people make necklaces for the project. 


Mitzvah Day 2020 in Pictures

Many thanks to Ted Epstein and George Rubin for all of the Mitzvah Day Photos!




Mon, November 29 2021 25 Kislev 5782