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By: Frieda Haber

Kindness filled the air on Sunday April 2nd, as the Sephardic Community Center participated in Good Deeds Day. In a joint effort between all the departments of the Center, the building was transformed into a kindness machine, as volunteers walked through its doors ready to do good deeds for others and the planet. Good Deeds Day, an international day of kindness, unites people from 93 countries in doing acts of kindness. Volunteers practice the simple idea that every person, young or old, can do something good, no matter how small or large the act, to improve the lives of other people and, possibly, change the world. Thanks to the Center, our community had the opportunity to take part in this inspiring and fulfilling day.

As volunteers pulled up alongside the Center, they were greeted with their first opportunity to do kindness: a technology recycling station, in which people who had any old or broken technological devices could donate them to be recycled. What a great and easy way to help the environment! When participants walked into the Center, they were welcomed with their second opportunity to give back: buying goods and coupons from a bake sale and Chinese auction organized by eighth grade girls to benefit two needy brides in Israel. The benevolence was apparent on these girls’ faces as they interacted with volunteers. Their motivation and, ultimately, their accomplishments, prove how easy it is and how fulfilling it feels to do something nice for others.

Feeling inspired, participants continued onward. After being handed Good Deeds Day    t-shirts, they were given the chance to write letters of todah to the soldiers who protect our homeland, Israel. Young and old volunteers alike were excited and humbled by the prospect of thanking the brave men and women who tirelessly protect Israel. Participants carefully wrote thoughtful and well-decorated cards of thanks, in the hopes of motivating these courageous soldiers. As soon as Good Deeds Day partakers finished their letters, they were told to pick a card out of a basket. Each card contained a small act of kindness they could do during the day as a way of passing along the kindness they were currently experiencing. These cards, which contained acts such as, “Invite someone new to hang out with you,” were meant to stress that being kind is a way of living. The kindness cards were made to show volunteers that they don’t need to attend an organized event to make someone feel good – they can come up with ways to be kind within their very own lives. What’s more, making someone feel good can be seen as one small way of changing the world.

Good Deeds Day continued on to the second floor of the Center, where the fitness staff, along with some volunteers, aided the elderly in using the fitness facilities. The kindness didn't stop there. On the third floor there was a free carnival that was attended by students of Imagine Academy. The carnival was meant to allow everyone the opportunity to have fun, feel the generous and caring atmosphere of the Center, and, hopefully, be inspired.

All in all, Good Deeds Day was an immense success. Everyone in the Center was able to feel the kindness in the air. Participants young and old learned how easy it is to do something nice for someone else. With any luck, volunteers will take their experiences of Good Deeds Day in stride and keep the kindness going within their every day lives.