Mitzvah Day draws hundreds of volunteers in metro Detroit

Posted at 6:24 PM, Dec 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-25 18:24:55-05

DETROIT, Mich. (WXYZ-TV) — It’s the single largest day of volunteering for metro Detroit’s Jewish community; "Mitzvah" means "a good deed," and for hundreds of volunteers participating in Mitzvah Day on Christmas, those good deeds were directed at local nonprofits.

“I’m using a design and making a leaf," said 10-year-old Daniel Shapiro, decorating a book bag for a low income family at Brilliant Detroit.

He participates in Mitzvah Day, a worldwide Jewish tradition, every year with his sister and mother.

The 23rd annual Mitzvah Day in Detroit was hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

“It really symbolizes helping others who are just less fortunate and just doing good deeds so that our community as a whole and in turn our world can just benefit," said 13-year-old Meredith Shapiro, also volunteering.

Members of the Muslim and Hindu faith communities also participated in the event, which turned out more than 600 volunteers at more than 40 locations around Detroit. Part of the goal of the day-long initiative is to fill staffing gaps for nonprofits on Christmas Day.

Cindy Eggleton runs Brilliant Detroit, which focuses on supporting low income families through educational resources. It’s one of dozens of non-profits that benefit from Mitzvah Day.

They’ve welcome Mitzvah Day volunteers every holiday since their non-profit started four year ago. Eggleton said that generosity helps their organization reach its goals throughout the year.

“We have actually built our entire rooms from a Mitzvah Day. We’ve painted entire floors of our some our houses. We’ve actually organized like 10,000 books before," Eggleton told Action News.