Mitzvah Projects are not just a growing trend, but often a synagogue requirement, and an incredible way for students to engage in a social action project in honor of their upcoming bar/bat mitzvah. A mitzvah project teaches the value of tzedakah and giving back to the community. Now with a modern twist, it can teach students how to have a greater impact using the Internet for good, while making the process more fun and easier than ever.
That’s where Deposit a Gift comes in. Deposit a Gift is the crowdfunding platform that allows you to create a fundraising website to raise money for your mitzvah project online, so that friends and family from anywhere can get involved. A mitzvah project is all about pursuing something you are passionate about for the greater good, and now by bringing it online, you can have a bigger impact than ever before. Click here to create your mitzvah project site now.
Historically, mitzvah projects have been done offline, so you may be asking yourself why taking it online would make a difference. Creating an online home for your mitzvah project allows your child to get friends and family involved whether or not they live close by, and show them the impact they are having well in advance of the bar or bat mitzvah date. It also allows them to leverage the power of social media to get people involved who would not normally be aware of their project.
Setting up an online site can add a whole new dimension to your child’s mitzvah project. If your child has chosen to volunteer at an animal shelter, they can use their Deposit a Gift site to raise money for the shelter, making the project doubly powerful. If they’ve chosen to build homes with Habitat for Humanity, they can set up a mitzvah project fund to raise money for the materials.
As soon as you are ready to start the project, you can set up the site. Students often start brainstorming their mitzvah project when they are assigned their Torah portion, so it would make sense to initiate the online component then. Since this is probably the first time your child is doing something like this, and it will be the central face of the project, you want to give them enough time to think through how they want to represent their cause online. This will give your child plenty of time to get the word out about the campaign and update it at various intervals of the project. Make sure the site is ready to launch the moment your child starts their volunteer work so they can track together.
Make it Simple to Make a Difference
Deposit a Gift makes it easier than ever to do more good. At the most basic level, having the built-in social media sharing tools, goal, thermometer and recent activity feed will make it easier to galvanize the masses and spread the word, but you should also check out the other tools that will allow your child to make their project bigger than they could have imagined. For example, if they’d like to host an offline fundraising event to complement the online fundraising efforts, Deposit a Gift has a ticket sales functionality that is housed within the crowdfunding platform to keep everything in one place. This way even ticket sales feed the thermometer!
Mitzvah Projects are chosen based on your child’s Torah portion. Your child might choose to volunteer at a soup kitchen if their portion deals with hunger, or they might choose to volunteer at an animal shelter if the portion discusses the treatment of animals. You can always consult with your Rabbi or your child’s Hebrew school teacher to come up with relevant ideas, if you are unfamiliar with the Torah portion yourself. Ultimately it should be a project that has meaning and resonance for your child.
Check out – 5 Steps to the Perfect Mitzvah Project
Some thematic options are:
- Animal and Pet
- Children and Education
- The Environment
- The Arts
- Israel and Jewish Causes
- Civil Rights and Equality
- International Issues
- Poverty and Hunger
Students can partner with an existing organization or create their own grassroots initiative. The nice thing about creating an online mitzvah project is that no matter what they choose to do, everything will be in one place, accessible via computer, tablet or phone and they will have total control of how their project is shared with the world.
What Will My Child Learn?
Utilizing a site like Deposit a Gift teaches kids real world skills. They learn how to set up an online campaign, how to get their friends and family involved in things they feel passionately about, and what it takes to galvanize their community to make a difference; all skills they’ll be able to take with them and apply to future charitable endeavors. Hopefully the mitzvah project is just one of many service projects they will undertake in their lifetime, so having this skill set will be invaluable.
This is also an incredible opportunity to teach your child about best practices with social media and the Internet. Though they’ll probably know more than you about some of the new techniques available, you know more about how to act responsibly. Today’s service projects are perfect for online fundraising and sharing, and social media makes that easy and fun. Do it together to teach them best practices about how to engage with people on the Internet, as well as proper email follow-up and online etiquette.
It is incredibly simple to share your Deposit a Gift mitzvah project site with friends and family. You get a unique URL that is perfect for the online world, but since it is custom (meaning: you get to name it), it also translates beautifully to print. You will be able to share it via social networks, email, text message and even printed invitations. Every point of communication is an opportunity to share the service project that your child is spearheading in the name of this important milestone in their life.
We are no longer just telling our children that as a bar or bat mitzvah they will be expected to take on the responsibilities of a Jewish adult, but giving them an opportunity to experience what it means to truly engage in repairing the world. Bringing it online is the newest and best way to make the process simple, easy and fun for everyone!
Like this idea? Then click here to learn how to create a bar or bat mitzvah registry for the party!