The phrase, “I have a dream,” means many things to many different people. To most, it reflects Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech more than 60 years ago in Washington, D.C. A speech that foreshadowed a future of peace, love, and equality. But to the youngest generation, they subconsciously say this phrase not yet knowing the heavy load it bears.
Regardless, many community members now more than ever feel the need to unite and connect, teaching all generations, even the ones just learning to walk, the importance of dreaming, hoping, believing and — with action — achieving.
On Monday, Jan. 15, Nurture Atlanta hosted a very special MLK Family Day of Service at The Davis Academy in partnership with Repair the World, PJ Library, The Epstein School, Weinstein School PTO, Schiff School PTO, Temple Sinai PTO, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta Gather Grants.
The MLK Day of Service showcased the robust Jewish ecosystem that exists in Atlanta. Not only were many organizations able to come together and partner, but they were also able to promote these organizations through mitzvah projects that support the local community. The beneficiaries of these acts of kindness include, but are not limited to, Jewish Homelife, Creating Connected Communities, Helping Mama’s, and North Fulton Community Charities.
More than 110 families, amounting to over 300 people, gathered to perform acts of service and teach pre-school aged children specifically the importance of a mitzvah. Teaching these little minds that one can feel a sense of accomplishment and reward by packaging a snack bag for someone who might be hungry or creating toy packs for children who do not have access to crayons and coloring books will be a lasting and memorable experience. These are simple, but impactful, acts that tons of tiny hands worked on throughout the day.
This event also filled an important need in the community as there are very few opportunities for young children to participate in hands-on service projects.
Parents, as well as organizational volunteers, were in awe of what the MLK Day of Service truly accomplished.
Tamar Levy, mother of two pre-school aged girls, founder of That Peach Mommy, an online resource for parents with young children, and a PJ Library parent connector, shared her perspective on attending and representing PJ Library at this event.
“I was so grateful to be able to spend our morning with the Atlanta Jewish community. As a mom, former educator, and someone who plays an active role in our Jewish community, I was proud to see everyone come together for this meaningful day. At one point, I stood in the Davis Academy gym and looked around. There were young families everywhere. Smiling, happy to help and working together to give back to those in need. I look forward to participating in this day in the future with my two girls.”
Along with mitzvah projects, the day also included a special story time with local author Gabby Spatt (co-author Candance Bazeman), who read her book, “Shabbat and Sunday Dinner.” And an Atlanta event is not complete without music and movement from Taryn Rioseco, founder of Here We Grow, singing and playing instruments to a packed theater of kids dancing and jumping around.
Event organizers were pleased with how the day of service turned out. They were able to expand this program to include additional partners with the generous support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta’s Organizational Gather Grant program.
A huge thank you goes out to the hosts at Nurture Atlanta and The Davis Academy, who ensured this program exceeded all expectations and offered a more hands-on experience for families, to learn and give back.
- Ali Garfinkel
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Nurture Atlanta
- Davis Academy
- Repair the World
- PJ Library
- Epstein School
- Weinstein School PTO
- Schiff School PTO
- Temple Sinai
- jewish federation of greater atlanta
- Jewish HomeLife
- creating connected communities
- Helping Mama’s
- North Fulton Community Charities
- Gabby Spatt
- Candance Bazeman
- Taryn Rioseco
- Here We Grow