Social Action Committee needs you!

     If you're willing to volunteer your time and energy to make a difference in our community, the Congregation's Social Action Committee needs you! We've got lots of ideas, and a good track record, but we need the help of all of those congregants who subscribe to "tikun olam," repairing the world.
     Our bylaws mandate that the Social Action Committee "shall seek to create opportunities for the Congregation to participate in meaningful social service projects and to involve the Congregation in serving and empowering those who are disadvantaged or in need. Its goal shall be to motivate Congregation members, and to provide avenues for adults, youth and children to participate in Tikun Olam."
     Many of our projects are ongoing and have included a food, clothing and toiletry drive during High Holy Days to benefit Bethlehem House, the island's homeless shelter. This annual project can take collections all year so we would like to expand the scope of that effort.
     Other recent projects include:
     -- Helping our adopted school Joseph Sibilly Elementary, through various efforts – funding the Art Department, donating books, organizing Mitzvah projects, distributing dictionaries provided by the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, and assisting with the school's fund-raising projects such as its Halloween Haunted House.
     -- Providing Christmas presents (wrapped and tagged) for the children at the Family Recourse Center, at times raising funds from bake sales with the aid of our children.
     -- Partnering with the Department of Human Services on a number of projects, including Adopt-A-Family program for Thanksgiving. We have also assisted the department's foster-care program by proving a Kmart Card for use when toiletries are needed for children housed at Sea View Nursing Home. The department has a room named "The Tiger Room" which is used for foster children's supervised visits with their natural parents. This room needs books, book shelves, toys, toy boxes, learning materials, videos and painting. This is a perfect project for Congregation members to work together on.
     The Nana Baby Home, which provides emergency foster care, is in desperate need of a new bathtub. This agency does come under Department of Human Services so it benefits when we help that department. This is another area where the Social Action Committee can make a difference in the quality of life for children in need.
     Social Action has put together many other projects that have helped the less fortunate but, thus far, we have been an army of two. Now it is time to enlist members of the Congregation to join this committee and enlarge the scope of social service in our community.
     We have many new ideas and no doubt new members will greatly contribute with their ideas. Please join your Social Action Committee and be a part of "Helping Hands In Our Community." Just call Alex at 775-5965, or Agnes at 775-7550. Please note that Agnes is away until August 27th. We're hoping to schedule our first meeting in mid September so we can plan an agenda for the 2008-09 year. Please join us!
     Agnes Rampino and Alexandra Laing
     Co-Chairs, Social Action Committee