Shawn Hunt of Clinton Township, Oliver and Taylor Beardsall of Novi, and David and Susie Kamen of White Lake pick up Meals on Wheels at Christ Church to deliver to families in 2018.
Shawn Hunt of Clinton Township, Oliver and Taylor Beardsall of Novi, and David and Susie Kamen of White Lake pick up Meals on Wheels at Christ Church to deliver to families in 2018. (JN File Photo)

As of today, organizations JCRC/AJC has historically worked with on Dec. 25 continue to determine what their volunteer needs will be during the holiday season.

For many Jewish families, volunteering on Mitzvah Day (Dec. 25) is a cherished family tradition. But like most things this year, it will look a bit different because of the pandemic.

For the last 24 years, the Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC (JCRC/AJC) has provided thousands of Christmas Day volunteer opportunities for members of the community as part of Mitzvah Day. Each year, more than 600 people of all backgrounds have spent the day at metropolitan Detroit organizations filling staff shortages and allowing organizations to reduce staffing for Christmas.

JCRC/AJC will continue this important tradition, albeit in a modified format as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. As of today, organizations it has historically worked with on Dec. 25 continue to determine what their volunteer needs will be during the holiday season.

Organizations still need help in some form, such as contactless meal or gift delivery, donations, card making or celebratory drive-bys. Because some of these organizations may not know their needs until very close to Christmas Day, JCRC/AJC is providing contact information so you may directly reach out to the nonprofit that best fits your interests, needs and comfort level.

As of Dec. 2, here are some volunteer opportunities for those who want to help. Check back weekly for new opportunities at https://tinyurl.com/y5yjatea.

For questions that cannot be answered by a specific nonprofit, contact Sandy Lippitt at JCRC/AJC at slippitt@jfmd.org.

Mitzvah Day 2020 Volunteer and Giving Opportunities

*As of Dec. 2, 2020

Bridging Communities: Volunteers are needed to deliver remembrance gift bags and Focus:HOPE boxes to seniors on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet at 6900 McGraw Avenue, Detroit, MI 48210. Contact: Bianca Hart, volunteer@bridgingcommunities.org or 313-361-6377

Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries: First, five-to-seven registered volunteers are needed on Friday, December 18 (time TBD) to bring gifts from the building’s banquet room (inside), outside to the delivery cars. Social distancing and masks will be required and there will be no exposure to clients. The address is 150 Stinson, Detroit 48201. Second, those interested in donating to their Christmas Store, please deliver the items to the organization (150 Stimson, Detroit 48201) no later than Friday, Dec. 11.  Contact: Jamie McMillen, 313-771-9002

Focus: HOPE:  Volunteers are needed on Saturday, Dec. 19 to deliver meals or load meals into cars (start at 1400 Oakman Blvd., Detroit 48238). Four shifts are available: 8, 9 or 11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. Register at https://tinyurl.com/y5q7bcvs. Contact: 313-288-2059