Mitzvot From The Heart: Dylan Vermeire

At Henry Plumbing, Dylan Vermeire shows some of the designs of the donated mini-tile designs.

Dylan Vermeire, Temple Emanuel

A student at Holt High School in Wentzville, Dylan Vermeire, son of Laura and Drew Vermeire of Lake St. Louis, chose to support the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) for his mitzvah project. What follows is Dylan’s first-hand account of his project:

WWP helps serve the physical and emotional needs of severely injured service members who were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. I believe that the men and women who serve our country and who sacrifice being with their families are real heroes. When I see a man or woman in uniform, I always thank them for their service. For my bar mitzvah project, I wanted to make a real difference with a goal of raising at least $1,000.

How to raise money became the next challenge. Fortunately, I met the generous people from Henry Plumbing, who donated over 200 beautiful mini-ceramic tile, wearable works of art necklaces that they created for my fund raising efforts. By selling these dazzling necklaces, I was able to raise and donate $1,050 to the Wounded Warrior Project. People from my synagogue plus my friends, family, patrons at the local post office and Chinese restaurant were all excited to help our Wounded Warriors and buy the necklaces.


I was really proud to meet and tell so many people in the community about my bar mitzvah project because I think it helped create a good impression about what a bar mitzvah is. I also met several veterans who were happy to see me doing this project for their fellow soldiers.

It took me about two and a half months to raise the money in between school and studying for my bar mitzvah. I want to say a special thank you to Gail Smith at Henry Plumbing who often spends hours of her spare time preparing and assembling the stunning tile squares and radiant rectangles into necklaces for a variety of local fundraising events. She was so generous to share her designer tiles for my Wounded Warriors bar mitzvah fundraising project. Many who purchased told me they received many compliments and gave them as gifts.

I hope more people will get involved with The Wounded Warrior Project and do what they can to help our veterans.