June: Summer Kindness Kits (tzedek/justice)
What is tzedek? The word tzedek literally translates to “righteousness,” but is often interpreted as “justice.” In Jewish thought, justice isn’t merely about how things work, but how they ought to be. (https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/tzedek-the-jewish-value-of-justice/)
Why is this project important? Summer weather in Maryland can be beautiful yet unbearable; it storms a lot and we get sunburnt. At the end of a summer day, we retreat back to our air-conditioned homes to relax and recharge for the next day. We’re fortunate to have the ability to access cold spaces, apply aloe vera to our burnt skin, and sip on ice cold water in the comfort of our homes. However, there are many more people living in our communities who don’t get to experience these luxuries.
These summer kindness kits will be distributed to those experiencing homelessness and contain necessary hygiene items, sunscreen, snacks, socks, and a water bottle. “Approximately 2,200 men, women, and children are homeless in Baltimore City on any given night. Lack of affordable housing, low incomes, and limited access to comprehensive services are primary causes of homelessness.” (https://homeless.baltimorecity.gov/about-1)
By participating in this project, we are able to provide people experiencing homelessness with items that will help make their summer a bit more comfortable. Additionally, hygiene items are hard to acquire for people with no income. We do this because it is the right thing to do; we donate these summer kindness kits because all people should have access to sunscreen, socks, water, and more. The next time the temperature hits 80° and you’re sitting in front of the AC, think about the people who don’t have that access and what you can do to continue making the world a more right and just place.
Youtube Video: Chesed, Tzedek, Tzedakah
PJ Library Books:
Tikkun Olam Ted by Vivian Newman
The Cholent Brigade by Michael Herman