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Role Models in Camp Che-Na-Wah

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There’s a saying from ancient Jewish writing that “whoever saves one life, it is as if he or she has save the whole world”. What this means is that through service and helping others, we take a step toward making the world a little bit better. By helping others, we can create greater meaning in our own lives. It feels good. Many of you, sitting right here do things in your own communities, in your schools, with your families to help those that are less fortunate than you are. Many of you work very hard to raise money and awareness. You have made a difference.

On some Shabbat mornings, we hear about famous Jewish women who have made great accomplishments. Some are right here. What I realized is that we don’t have to look very far for women who have made great accomplishments. You are the best examples that we could ask for. So I decided to do a little research. I decided to learn about you, and your stories. And I was amazed to find out how many of you, sitting right here are making an impact on other people’s lives. So, this morning we start a new tradition. This Shabbat I get to tell your story. I am proud to tell you a little bit about this year’s Bunk 18.

In Bunk 18, we have a girl that raises money for the American Cancer Society by participating in the Relay for Life. We have a girl that volunteers, along with her family to support the Cottage School to help children heal with traumas. I spoke with a girl in Bunk 18 that bakes pies for seniors and another that organized an art auction to raise money for autism.  We have a girl that raises money for Asperger’s disease and another that raised money for the Smile Train, an organization that helps children that were born without a cleft palate receive the surgery that they need to live a normal life. I spoke with a girl that set up a lemonade stand to raise money to send kids to camp and another that helps to raise money to help the people of Tanzania. She also delivers Shabbat boxes every week to needy homebound people. We have a girl that plays basketball to raise money for the American Cancer Society and another participates in melting bottle caps to make wheelchairs. She’s also involved in the Friendship Circle, and works 1 to 1 with a young person in need. Bunk 18 has a young lady that ran a 5K in memory of the victims of Sandy Hook and another that has saved the money of her lemonade stands, and has made a donation to Hurricane Sandy Relief.

If you’re impressed….even just a little bit…you’re not alone.

If you walk away from here, and feel a little bit inspired, how will you turn that feeling into action?  What I’ve learned is, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something to make a difference.

Bunk 18, you are our Role Models. You didn’t want to talk about yourselves. Your joy was in helping others. Your stories can shape us and inspire us.

A role model is not the person with the best job title, the most responsibility or the most fame. Any one can inspire. You can do it. You can. Each one of you can make a difference.

By: Barbara Wortman

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