I am delighted and proud to have a small part in a far-reaching important tzedakah project which makes children aware of homeless families in their communities via a tzedakah box which they created. This project was literally dreamed up by my friend, Mark Wasserman. An idea came to him whereas a simple cardboard box, in the shape of a house, becomes the vehicle and reminder for children and their families to help the homeless. The children have a fun time decorating their box and then bring it home to their families to collect money benefiting the homeless.
The project originated at B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, a synagogue which is one of 22 churches and synagogues working together via the nonprofit, Family Promise. Their common mission is helping the most vulnerable in our community – homeless families with children, living right here in So. Florida!
The project won the first prize in a national contest sponsored by the Gary Rosenthal Collection of Judaic art. The challenge was to create a tzedakah box project so that a charitable cause would benefit from the funds collected. B’nai Torah and the Rosenthal Collection commissioned me to create my “Houses for Change” entry for the upcoming Levis JCC Rosen Gallery tzadakah box exhibit.
The tzedakah box I created from the cardboard “Houses for Change” box is a multi-media collage, showing the ever changing four seasons. It is adorned with the Hebrew words from Kohellet (Ecc. 3:1), “For Everything There is a Season and Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven”. To me, this means, it is always the time, the season, to give tzedakah.
Although Houses for Change had its origins in the Jewish tradition, it can be done by any group, such as families, churches, synagogues, schools and scout troops. The organization that does the Houses for Change project designates the homeless organization that will be the recipient of the funds collected.
To learn more about how to organize a Houses for Change project in your community, and to order undecorated boxes, go to www.familypromise.org/housesforchange. This project is a winner! You can directly help a homeless family – you can make art with your children, you can “teach your children well” and you can spread the word within your community about this outstanding opportunity to do the right thing.