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Tikkun Olam Projects

beading for betterment

Guadalupe Center

Beading for Betterment is an ongoing project at Temple Shalom that benefits the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee. We make hand-beaded necklaces for the children to give as holiday gifts to mothers, grandmothers or other special women in their lives.

Each year we make 200-300 necklaces for Mothers’ Day. Carol Hirsch will provide the supplies for a fee of $18, free if participants provide their own supplies.

For further information contact Carol Hirsch, chirsch1951@gmail.com.

bedtime bundles

  Shelter for Abused Women and Children

Bedtime Bundles are pillowcases filled with comfort items for kids. When women arrive at the Shelter for Abused Women and Children with their kids, often in the middle of the night, the contents of these pillowcases could ease the children’s stress, providing bedtime necessities and reassurance. Each pillowcase will hold an age and gender appropriate pair of pajamas, a stuffed toy, a book, toothbrush and toothpaste, and slippers. Our Religious School children, whether attending in person on Sunday mornings or virtually at home, will have the opportunity to draw messages on the pillow cases, collect the items over a several week period, and stuff pillowcases with age and gender consistent selections. Each pillowcase will be tagged with information regarding the age and gender of the child for whom it is intended.

The project will begin with the collection of the items. The plan is to have children bring new items to Religious School, each week featuring a different type of item. Parents will be asked to send newly purchased items (no used items will be accepted). We may be able to subsidize the project with some donated items.  One class period can be devoted to drawing messages on the pillowcases. When the collection and artwork are complete, the various items can be set up assembly-line style, and the children can fill and tag the pillowcases (with some adult guidance to assure age and gender consistency). This plan can be adapted for those children who are “attending” Religious School virtually. The Bundles will then be collected at Temple and delivered to the Shelter. When children arrive at the shelter, each will receive a Bedtime Bundle with good wishes from the children of Temple Shalom.

The lesson of tikkum olam, making the world a better place by helping other children, will accompany the activities. This multi-week project can provide an opportunity to talk about children in less comfortable circumstances than they are, how important it is that we help other people, and the Jewish value of doing mitzvot, of being God’s partner in mending our world.

For further information contact Tussy Shnider, tshnider@gmail.com.

Bicycle and bike parts collection

Bikes for Tykes

Bikes for Tykes is a 501(c)3 organization based in Naples, which provides used bikes to underprivileged children and families. They collect donated or discarded bikes, and volunteers repair, refurbish and rebuild these back into safe and functional machines. Since its founding 30 years ago, the organization has donated over 20,000 new and reconditioned bicycles in Collier County. The new-ish bikes are given away as holiday presents to children of all ages. The more ‘mature’ used bikes are reconditioned and given primarily to social agencies for distribution, where they end up being ridden (often as primary transportation) by service and agricultural workers in the area. Several Temple Shalom members regularly volunteer their time and mechanic skills at Bikes for Tykes.

This is the perfect win-win You get to clean some clutter out your garage, and an underprivileged child or adult will end up with transportation to work or shopping or school, or just to get some recreational exercise. And in terms of the environment, it’s the ultimate re- cycle

There are two ways to help:

1. Donate your unwanted bicycles and bike parts.
2. Volunteer as a mechanic to fix up donated bikes. Minimal experience necessary.

For further information contact Don Belmont, DJBelmont@gmail.com.

Blood drive

Temple Shalom sponsors a blood drive every year as part of Mitzvah Day. The congregation has consistently been a strong supporter of this effort. 

Bridges program

Bridges is a southwest Florida group formed in 2019 to build bridges between diverse communities. We began with the Black and Jewish communities in Collier and Lee counties and have grown to include multiple faith communities and multiple ethnic communities. Our mission is to engage in social action in which our members can work together to get to know each other better while performing a community service.

Over time, we intend to broaden our membership to include Latino, Islamic, and Native American participants.

Our first project was to support Empty Bowls of Naples by having a "painting party" at their headquarters to relieve food insecurity in the community. Over 40 people with diverse backgrounds participated and worked side by side.

The pandemic required us to shift to virtual events, and we focused on voting rights and getting out the vote in the fall of 2020 with the keynote speaker, Andrea Miller, Executive Director of the Center for Common Ground. After that, we contributed food through the Amazon and Target websites to the Pace Center for Girls in Immokalee. Our keynote speaker in March 2021 was Mr. Vincent Keeys, President of the Collier County NAACP chapter, and he discussed his Books Over Bars reading program. Pastor Irvin Stallworth of New Beginnings Ministries in Naples advocated Book Parties to promote reading and literacy including reading with students and giving them books. We also viewed an excerpt of the film, Blacks & Jews by Snitow & Kaufman and recommended that our members read Isabel Wilkerson's Caste.

Our most recent event was a Zoom meeting in April 2021 with Dr. Ted Thornhill, Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Critical Race & Ethnic Studies at FGCU as our keynote speaker.

We are planning to resume meetings and activities in September 2021. Please contact Abe Levy at abelevy48@gmail.com or Pat Levy at patlevy46@gmail.com if you are interested in participating.

champions for learning mentoring

This organization, which is part of the Education Foundation of Collier County, exists to create life-changing learning experiences for every student. Working with a vision of a community that is 100% engaged in support of student success, Champions for Learning serves a unique role in bringing the community together to support a culture of learning and innovation.

“Whether you’re looking for a weekly commitment or a one-off event, there are numerous volunteer roles to compliment your interests and schedule. No experience is required, and an orientation/training is provided.”

There will be a virtual training session on Wednesday, October 28 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm for you to decide if this opportunity is for you. For further information contact Ida Margolis, ida.margolis2@gmail.com or Ken Goldstein, kengoldstein@mac.com.

Children's network of SWFL

The Children’s Network of SWFL is nonprofit agency serving over 2,300 abused and neglected children under contract with The Department of Children and Families. They provide child welfare services in partnership with many local agencies in SWFL counties including Collier and Lee, as well as Charlotte, Glades, and Hendry.

We will be collecting donations for infants, toddlers, and school age children. Great project to do as a family or with other friends.

Items Needed (dates in parentheses indicate the time of year when donations are most needed):

Infants - diapers, wipes, powdered formulas, baby shampoo, body wash, wash cloths and towels (year-round)
Toddlers - learning toys and books (November-December and June-July)
School age children - gender neutral back packs filled with books, towel, wash cloth, toothbrush & toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, body wash, brush & comb, & learning toys (June-July).

For further information contact Susan Hager susan.k.hager@gmail.com or Liz Jaffe, jaffeliz@gmail.com.

Clothing Collection

The Temple holds clothing collections on a regular basis. The most recent of these was 2/28/2021. At that time, we collected 150 boxes of clothing for women, men, children, and teens as well as bedding. These were sorted and delivered over three days by a team of volunteers. The recipients were non-profit agencies serving clients in Collier and Lee Collier:

Abuse Counseling and Treatment Inc.  – http://www.actabuse.com/about-act/
Beds4Kidz – https://voicesforkids.org/beds-for-kids/
Café of Life – https://cafeoflife.org
Dress for Success – https://swflorida.dressforsuccess.org
Estero United Methodist Church – http://esteroumc.com
Oasis Lutheran Services Youth Shelter – www.lsfnet.org
Shelter for Abused Women and Children – https://naplesshelter.org/home2/

Empty Bowls Decorating

Empty Bowls Naples

Temple Shalom members participate in the creation and decorating of bowls, and we are a sponsor of the organization’s annual event.

The "Empty Bowls Project" is an international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The mission is to create positive and lasting change through the arts, education, and projects that build community. The basic premise is simple:

Potters, educators, students, and volunteers work with the community to create handcrafted bowls.
Local restaurants donate soup and bread to serve.
Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread served at Cambier Park each year.

Empty Bowls Naples is an annual fundraiser to help fight hunger in our community.

The event benefits local organizations that provide food to those in need and offers grants to organization directly fighting hunger. Last year, over $100,000 was raised at the annual Empty Bowls event at Cambier Park in Naples.

Food packing

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! 

For information about Meals of Hope, www.MealsofHope.org

To volunteer, contact Don Belmont, DJBelmont@gmail.com.

High Holy Days Food Collection & Donation Drive

Harry Chapin Food Bank

One of the most urgent needs right here in Collier and Lee County is food security.

Harry Chapin Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, is the largest hunger-relief organization in Southwest Florida, serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. They distribute food through their food distribution programs: Care and Share Senior Feeding Program, Harry’s Helpings, Fulfill Mobile Pantries, In-School Pantries and our Partner Agency Program, which is a network of more than 150 partner agencies to feed people in need. Through these programs, more than a quarter of a million people each month are fed.

Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed $59.5 million dollars’ worth of food in fiscal year 2020. Through our food distribution programs, we supplied nearly 32.4 million pounds of food and other grocery items - the equivalent of 28.5 million meals distributed to those who are hungry.

The congregants of Temple Shalom have strongly supported the Food Bank over the past 18 years, with donations exceeding $250,000! Our primary vehicle is the high holy days donation solicitation. We are proud to support the work of the Harry Chapin Food Bank.

Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC)

Several of our Temple Shalom members serve on the board of the JCRC, including Rabbis Miller and Boxman. The JCRC’s primary mission is to promote and enhance the relationships between the Jewish community and the general community of Greater Naples. The JCRC participates in many programs with a number of groups with whom it collaborates, especially activities that promote religious freedom, separation of religion from government and social justice issues.

JCRC membership consist of representatives from Jewish organizations that serve our community as well as at-large members. The diversity of members enables the JCRC to represent the thinking of the Jewish community on social issues of community-wide interest.

Knitzvah Project

The Temple Shalom knitters have gotten together to knit shawls for women recovering from breast cancer surgery.  The shawls were delivered to our local hospitals. For information and knitting pattern, please contact Liz Jaffe, jaffeliz@gmail.com.

Mitzvah Day

Every year, hundreds of Temple Shalom congregants come together for a day of social action projects. These vary year-to-year. These projects include collections, blood donations, baking, and packing of 50,000 meals for Meals of Hope!

Socks and UndieS

Grace Place

We partner with Grace Place to provide socks and underwear for children in need. Grace Place for Children and Families is an educational nonprofit organization guided by faith-based core values. Grace Place expresses this generosity as an educational center that provides pathways out of poverty through educating children and families. 

Donations of new socks and underwear in children’s sizes are collected via a drop off site at Temple Shalom and volunteers deliver them to Grace Place. 

For further information contact Bobbie Katz, gbkatz5804@aol.com.

Voter Engagement Projects

The TOV has spearheaded efforts to encourage our congregants to participate in the local and national elections.

“The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people.” Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice (1856 — 1941)

“The most important office...is that of private citizen.”  Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice (1856 — 1941)

World Union for Progressive Judaism

Support for Ukrainian Jews

The World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) is the international network of the Reform, Liberal, Progressive and Reconstructionist movements, serving 1.2 million members worldwide in more than 1,250 congregations in over 50 countries. For several years, we at Temple Shalom have helped support Rabbi Alexander Dukhovney and his synagogue in the Ukraine. This has been accomplished through fundraising and educational events.

BOGO (Buy One, Give One) Bags

In the past, the Temple held an active Bring One, Give One program of food collection, whereby congregants would purchase their groceries, and if a buy one-get one deal was available, they would bring the extra item to the Temple, to be donated to the Senior Center food pantry. As in-house worship resumes, we’ll explore a revival of this program.

Mon, November 29 2021 25 Kislev 5782