JCC camps lead Initiative for National Camp Kindness Day
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Tikkun olam700 campers participating

JCC camps lead Initiative for National Camp Kindness Day

Rabbi Ron Symons: “Kindness is not a one day effort, and neither is our project.”

Fire and friendship combine at South Hills Day Camp. Photos courtesy of Emma Curtis via Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh.
Fire and friendship combine at South Hills Day Camp. Photos courtesy of Emma Curtis via Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh.

More than 700 campers and students will join the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in its efforts to spread kindness on July 20, National Camp Kindness Day.

Participating JCC-affiliated organizations include James & Rachel Levinson Day Camp (J&R), South Hills Day Camp, the Early Childhood Education Centers in both Squirrel Hill and South Hills, PJ Library in Pittsburgh and the Center for Loving Kindness. Day camp programs at Hosanna House in Wilkinsburg and South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) also will join the efforts to spread kindness.

“Kindness is not a one day effort, and neither is our project” said Rabbi Ron Symons, JCC senior director of Jewish Life and director of its Center for Loving Kindness. “In the weeks leading up to Camp Kindness Day, campers learned about kindness and the impact one small thing can have on another person and the environment. With a wide variety of populations being impacted through the project, campers were able to learn about food insecurity, needs of the elderly and other agencies supporting people throughout our community.”

National Camp Kindness Day is an initiative sponsored by the American Camp Association with as a way to highlight the kindness and generosity found within camp culture. The JCC’s J&R Day Camp spearheaded a project in which more than 700 campers at seven sites will color and decorate canvas bags printed with artwork made by participants at J&R, SHIM and Hosanna House. The decorated bags will then be delivered to JFCS, AgeWell, SHIM Food Pantries, The Free Store Wilkinsburg, Wilkinsburg Community Ministry, Hosanna House Family Center, Saint Mary Magdalene Parish Food Pantry, Crossroads Church Food Pantry and Garden City United Methodist Church Food Pantry, among other recipients. The hope in distributing the canvas bags, organizers said, is to make the recipients feel seen and cared about, all while helping cut down on the use of plastic bags.

For more information, visit JCCPGH.org. PJC

Sarah Abrams

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