Mitzvot from the Heart: Ansley Vickar

Ansley Vickar and her siblings Isabelle and Nelson volunteer with Birhday Joy, an organization dedicated to helping provide gifts to those in need.

Mitzvot from the Heart is compiled by Elise Krug

Ansley Vickar, Kol Rinah

“When traveling with my family last year I noticed many people that were living on the streets asking for money. It made me want to help,” said Ansley, daughter of Cynthia and Aaron Vickar of Olivette. The organization, Home Sweet Home, was the perfect match.

Home Sweet Home connects non-profit partners in the St. Louis region with donated furniture and household items. It helps clients transition to their new living situations with much-needed furnishings and basics, providing a sense of ownership and a source of stability. 

Ansley really liked its mission and made a cash donation from her bat mitzvah gifts to support the organization. Her mother, an interior designer, always recommends Home Sweet Home to anyone looking for a place to donate his or her used furniture.


“I was also concerned about the homeless and their families,” said Ansley, especially the children who may not have as much as I have, and I wanted to help them too. Birthday Joy is a great organization to help children have birthday gifts and celebrate their birthday, like I am lucky enough to do.”

Birthday Joy works with St. Louis area  social workers and case managers to provide gifts that boys and girls in need will enjoy. Once Ansley read its mission, every child deserves to celebrate the day they were born; she knew this was an organization she wanted to help and include in her tzedakah project. 

Ansley and her mother took another portion of her bat mitzvah money and went shopping for some of the basics needed for the birthday presents. They bought items such as books, games, dolls, arts and crafts, and gift cards. 

She also spent some time in Birthday Joy’s old office packing birthday gift bags and wrapping presents that were delivered to the partner organizations. Birthday Joy is now located at the corner of Highway 170 and Delmar Boulevard.

“Ansley has always had a soft spot for anyone less fortunate,” said her dad. “I can no longer count the times she asks for change to help someone on the street or comments after seeing someone in need. She has a very big and sweet heart.” 

A student at Ladue Middle School, Ansley said she is happy knowing that the little things she has done have made others’ days just a little bit better. “I am more aware of what’s happening and the things that people have to go through every day. This makes me appreciate what I have even more.”