By Alexa Sklar, Lower Chaverim, Session 1
What does charity mean to you? What are your Jewish values? These were just a few of the topics we discussed this summer in Kesher. The 17 of us committed ourselves to a session of learning and philanthropy, determined to make a difference as a member of Crane Lake Camp’s first ever Teen Foundation.
Crane Lake was one of 38 camps across the country awarded a $1,000 grant by the Jewish Teen Funders Network. CLC’s Teen Foundation was led by Lauren Chizner, our Limud Director. We set off on a journey to understand philanthropy and help change the world for the better by donating money to a local organization.
Our teen foundation received RFP’s (Request for Proposal) from 5 local organizations. Using consensus, we were able to narrow down the organizations that resonated to us to two– Volunteers in Medicine and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
On Thursday, July 11th, we went on site visits to learn first hand about these two organizations. We learned that VIM’s mission is to provide free health and dental care to local Berkshires residents. The mission of the Food Bank is to deliver free food to soup kitchens and food pantries in 29 counties of New York. We had fun on the trip loved seeing the organizations. In the end, the CLCTF decided to donate $500 to the Food Bank and $500 to VIM. We felt the two organizations proved themselves beyond worthy of our donation. To learn more about these organizations, visit www.vimberkshires.org and www.regionalfoodbank.net.
I feel so proud to be a part of this incredible group. We are the next generation of givers. The feeling of giving is so great and should be shared. Find an organization that touches you. We saw that anyone can give and that we all have an obligation to support our community and make a difference!