Mitzvot from the Heart: Sam Spirn

Sam Spirn, Congregation Shaare Emeth 

Passionate about sports, especially baseball, Sam chose two organizations to support for his mitzvah project; Challenger Baseball and Lift for Life Academy (LFLA).  St. Louis Challenger Baseball is a special league for youth and adults with mental and physical disabilities. LFLA is the first independent charter school in St. Louis that provides educational opportunities for middle and high school students.

Son of Michelle and Daniel Spirn of Ladue, Sam discussed ideas with Rabbi Bennett of Congregation Shaare Emeth who suggested that LFLA would benefit from receiving donations of sports equipment. 

As a “buddy,” Sam assisted Challenger players both at bat and in the field. He pushed them in wheelchairs around the base paths and helps them swing the bat and catch the ball. Most of all, volunteers like Sam help provide lots of encouragement and social interaction.

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Through his Instagram account and by word of mouth, Sam, a student at Ladue Middle School, collected many pieces of sports equipment to donate to LFLA. He was happily surprised at the generosity of his friends, all of whom had gently used tennis rackets and shoes, baseball equipment, soccer balls, golf balls and skates lying around. “These will help our students compete athletically,” noted LFLA.

A few weeks after his bar mitzvah, Sam delivered all the goods to Life For Life and had a tour of the school. He was impressed that even after 5 p.m., the school was packed with kids participating in after school clubs or study groups – and they all seemed happy to be there.