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The Commercial Appeal 10-29-18

Charity begins at home

A Letter to the Editor of The Commercial Appeal. Published October 29th, 2018.

Both of my daughters have September birthdays. And I usually stress out planning to make both their birthday parties original and meaningful. This year, Toby Dee, 9, and Bess, 7, made their birthdays both original and meaningful themselves.

“I do not want birthday presents this year,” Tobey Dee said in the car one day on the way to school. “ We don’t really need presents. We can give to charity. It is for a better cause. The presents can go towards something bigger.” Bess responded: “I want to be nice and do the same thing.”

I was overwhelmed and touched. My girls attend Bornblum Jewish Community School, and Tzedakah, which is charitable giving, is a big emphasis at Bornblum. After going back and forth on what was the best charity, we decided to raise money for KAVOD, a Memphis-based charity that provides emergency and confidential aid to Holocaust survivors in need.

A very large percentage of survivors are living at or below poverty level. KAVOD, which means dignity in Hebrew, provides such essentials as groceries and medicine. KAVOD’s website says it all: kavodensuringdignity.com. My girls’ father lost most of his family in the Holocaust, so this particular charity really hit close to home.

The girls ended up raising over $1,000. I opened it up to donors on Facebook. A few strangers even donated. Every time a new donation was made, the girls did a silly dance as they were so excited. We also were blessed to have John and Amy Israel Pregulman, founders of KAVOD, come to our home, meet Toby and Bess, and thank them. That made my daughters feel so good about their decision to donate.

We are grateful as a family for doing something different this year. We are grateful for choosing KAVOD. The whole experience will be remembered for years to come.

Robin Shainberg, Memphis

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