January Mitzvah Makers: Providing Hope
One of the favorite songs at camp is The Hope by Rick Recht. And while the song is referring to the state of Israel and a Jewish homeland, we often broaden it to use the line “this is the hope; the hope is real” in many circumstances. For this month’s edition of Chi Does Good, we want to share a story from this past summer when our campers provided some hope to a young man and his family.
Last summer, our own Chalutzim campers shared hope with a boy who was diagnosed with cancer. They spent days writing notes and cards, creating puzzles, word searches and mad libs to send to someone they had never met. Elan is a connected to camp in many ways, despite never coming to Chi. He is the son of Rebecca Sykes, a consultant for the Foundation for Jewish camp, a colleague and mentor for Joelle in her professional development programs and a friendly face to many of the staff at Chi, as well as a frequent visitor. He is also a close friend of our summer program manager, Jessie. So when Jessie and Joelle shared his story with the 7th graders last summer, the campers leapt into action to do what they could- provide hope. Upon hearing of a young man being dealt a bad hand, our campers were distraught. What could they do to help him? How could they make him smile? We couldn’t visit him. We couldn’t call him. But the power of the Camp Chi kehillah (community) is strong and our campers rolled up their sleeves and create cards from nothing that served as a message of hope for Elan and his family.
The cards meant a lot to Elan and his family, as he covered his hospital bed with them, and they brought a smile to his face, as shown in the photo below. In engaging in these acts of hope and kindness, our campers showed commitment to our values of kavod (respect), chesed (kindness) and kehillah (community). Kol hakavod to all of our Chalutzim campers from 2019 for performing this mitzvah and providing Elan with support, reasons to smile, and a good dose of positivity as he continues on his path to recovery. Day by day, Elan is getting stronger, and as continues towards remission, we continue to root for him, his care team, and his family. We are thrilled to share the news that on the same day we posted this, Elan and his family got the news that he is cancer-free! And as they say- that is the hope; the hope is still real.
WANT TO BE A MITZVAH MAKER?
Doing mitzvot and giving back to the community are cornerstones of living a Jewish live and we want to support your efforts to give back. Click the link below to tell us what community service you are involved in, what volunteering you are doing, what mitzvot you are doing, and we just may feature you in an upcoming Mitzvah Makers blog. Why? It’s simple, by truly living the Camp Chi Values, Chi Does Good.