Taking Care of Our Community
Chi Does Good was designed to share resources, stories, and specific actions our community can do to give back and help others. By promoting these events and causes we can help the Chi family live our values of Chesed (Kindness), Kavod (Respect) and Kehillah (Community) all year round. We hope the many ways we have shared to give back in challenging times has inspired you to do the same.
In Judaism, caring for your community is not something that is optional; it is something we are commanded to do. Our kehillah, or community, is more than just the people (the campers, staff members, alumni and the families). It includes the physical communities where the people of camp live and where camp is located. Over the years, Camp Chi has been involved in the Lake Delton community in a number of ways. This Chi Does Good will show you what Camp Chi has done to care for our local Kehillah during the pandemic.
Just about a year ago, the world as we knew it would change. As the COVID-19 pandemic sunk in, everything seemed to change, and Chi was not immune. Before the cancellation of our 2020 summer, the Perlstein Retreat Center, which had been packed with groups through the fall, effectively shut down as no group gatherings were permitted, and then with the cancellation of camp, we were left with well-stocked pantries, fridges, and freezers. We were faced with a unique problem, even with running Chi Family Getaway all summer, we had more food than we could consume. We made some calls to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters including, Beyond Blessed, Wisconsin Dells Food Panty, Baraboo Heroes, and Sacred Heart School and Church. The staff and volunteers were more than happy to come see what they could use, and happy was an understatement when they saw what we had available for them. They arrived with empty vans and took what they could fit.
Even with the pickups, our fridges, freezers and pantries were lined with food that was going to go to waste before we could use it. So we called again. And again. And again. The staff and volunteers are still regularly coming by with vehicles that they load up with food. While we have no way to measure precisely how much food we have given, we feel great knowing that we helped others. The countless thank you notes we have received and the public acknowledgement of our commitment to good that was published in the Reedsburg Times Press, shows us how appreciative the community is. When life quite literally gave us lemons did not need, we found ourselves making lemonade for others.
As part of the Camp Chi Family, each of us has the responsibility to live by our core values, kavod (respect), chesed (kindness) and kehillah (community). Doing mitzvot and giving back to the community are cornerstones of living a Jewish life. As we reflect back on the past year of the pandemic we want to know what lemons have you been given? How have you been able to make lemonade from them? Tell us what you are doing to help others and give back to the community. We would love to feature you and your cause in an upcoming Chi Does Good blog. Why? It’s simple, by truly living by Camp Chi’s Values, Chi Does Good.