Wish Boxes are part of an ongoing tikkun olam effort based in our religious school. On opening day families are given art supplies, including stickers with quotations from Jewish sources and scholars connected to tikkun olam, to use in decorating a box,. Approximately every six weeks a Wish List is sent home from a different community organization or agency detailing the items they need on an ongoing basis. Families fill their boxes with items from the Wish Lists and with items the synagogue collects regularly (hygiene products for a local shelter, soda can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, children's books for a Cleveland elementary school, etc.). On a designated day, students bring the Wish Boxes back to school, where they are emptied, sorted and packaged for delivery by our seventh grade Tzedakah Council. The empty boxes are returned home with a new Wish List from a different organization and the cycle begins again.
The Wish Boxes have been a successful program for us in many ways. First, by soliciting suggestions of worthy organizations from our religious school families, we are linking their Jewish lives with their secular philanthropic/volunteer activities. Second, our seventh graders have become intimately aware of the impact a small school can have on the community and increasingly understand their roles as stewards for the world around them. Third, by providing families both with lists of relatively inexpensive items (socks, paper towels, crayons, etc.) and a convenient way to store and deliver them, we have made "making a difference" easy. Finally - and most importantly - we have helped a number of different organizations around the greater Cleveland area fulfill their missions of service to the community.
RESOURCES: Wish lists from September, October, November, April, and May; Making the Boxes