The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
Community Contact Information:
Temple Sholom of Chicago
• Assist the local community through a hands-on construction project.
• Help a local charitable organization in their mission to feed the hungry.
The social action committee had been seeking to undertake a hands-on construction project to assist the local community. A committee leader discovered that a local homeless shelter needed a food pantry to securely hold the supplies necessary to provide meals for guests.
To capitalize on congregants’ individual expertise, the congregation advertised in its bulletin to solicit volunteers skilled in carpentry, construction and painting to help build the pantry. The assembled team renovated a rundown storage room near the shelter’s kitchen so that it could be used as a food pantry.
Additional volunteers were gathered, also under the aegis of the social action committee, to prepare dinner at the shelter’s drop-in soup kitchen once a month.
After ongoing involvement with the shelter, congregant volunteers noticed that the walls of the small dining room where the food was served looked bare. They asked a congregant (well-known as a public muralist) to paint the space. She recruited a group of religious school students to decorate the room with a colorful, uplifting mural.
The project grew serendipitously to embrace a broad cross-section of the temple membership—adults, children and families. The program succeeded in no small part because congregants were encouraged to use their particular skills in a project that helped others. The leadership at the shelter has expressed their gratitude to the congregation, and the organizations have developed a long-standing partnership.
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