Helping in high gear

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that plans change and the only choice we have is to be flexible. The National Council of Jewish Women has taken this to heart and decided to reimagine a one-day volunteer opportunity originally intended for August, to coincide with the organization’s 125th anniversary, and unveil it now.

“We decided to pivot and create opportunities now that meet real needs in our community and provide those at home with meaningful ways to help others,” explained Ellen Alper, executive director of NCJWSTL.

Now called the “Days of Giving Back,” NCJWSTL will launch it this Friday, May 8, with an eblast and social media campaign with multiple volunteer opportunities for individuals and families that include the following:

• Keeping children warm this winter. This one is for the knitters out there. More than 5,000 winter hats are needed for children participating in NCJW’s annual Back to School! Store and Kids Community Closets. Get those needles and yarn and get busy.

• Making masks for area hospitals. No need to be an expert seamstress. NCJW has a no-sew pattern you’ll get when you sign up.

• Making surgical caps for first responders. In order to protect themselves and their families, hospital workers and first responders need surgical caps to keep germs out of their hair. Help them out by volunteering to make a few. NCJW has a pattern for you when you sign up.

• Keeping spirits up. These are difficult times, especially for those on the front lines of COVID 19. Help keep patients and hospital workers spirits up by making posters for the hallways.

Volunteers will be able to drop off hats, masks, caps and the like in bins that will be placed outside the NCJW offices at designated days/times. To sign up for one or more of these activities and for more information, go to on Friday. As more opportunities and needs are identified, they will be added to the signup list.

News and Schmooze is a weekly column by Editor Ellen Futterman. Email Ellen at: [email protected]