Last year I was involved in a program called Mitzvah Makers through the Jewish Community Center and devoted many hours to helping all kinds of people. I decided to start a local Meals on Wheels program, which collects food and delivers it to housebound people. For this program we stood outside of supermarkets to hand out flyers with lists of foods we were collecting.
On Mitzvah Day we worked with disabled people and packaged a meal in a shoebox - even those had been donated! The shoebox was then wrapped and sent to the Meals On Wheels program. On Mitzvah Day I was honored by the leader of Meals On Wheels, and I felt very good to give to my community.
After volunteering with Mitzvah Makers, I was inspired to do more. I started spending a lot of my weekend mornings at Sunrise, which is a home for the elderly. There I sat and talked to the residents, called out the numbers for Bingo, and served drinks at meals.
Even though I went there every weekend, I wasn't remembered by the residents. I hoped that they would recognize me, but I didn't take it personally since it wasn't their fault. I truly enjoyed giving back to my community and felt like a better person.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.