Brothers work together for mitzvah project

Andrew and Alex Tash, Congregation Shaare Emeth:

Alex Tash’s mitzvah project became a family affair when his brother, Andrew’s project didn’t work out the year before. So, they decided to do one together.

Originally, the brothers, sons of Lisa and Rick Tash, were interested in helping at the Humane Society or another shelter where they could work with animals. However, during one of Alex’s meetings with Rabbi Jim Bennett, he learned that helping people is a higher and more rewarding level of giving.

It was at a local Chamber of Commerce meeting that Alex and Andrew’s father spoke to Sandy Gilfillan, Marketing Director of the Mary Culver Home for the Visually Impaired, about volunteer opportunities for their mitzvah project, as he has always had a soft spot in his heart for the visually impaired.

So, with Andrew at his side, they visited the home every Friday afternoon for about ten weeks. They spent time with several of the residents reading newspaper articles, stamping on stationery paper, coloring, playing bingo and talking about current events.

Lisa commented that both boys feel as though they have been part of something extraordinary. They have both become much more aware of people with disabilities and both are thankful for their good eyesight.

The brothers lost their grandparents when they were very young and have spent little time around elderly people. Andrew told his mother he thought he would be uncomfortable around elderly people. This was not the case and the experience has shown him the value of older people.

As a result of Alex and Andrew’s positive experience at the Mary Culver Home, it will be added to Shaare Emeth’s list of charitable organizations for their annual Mitzvah Day.

Andrew will be a freshman at Parkway Central High School this fall and Alex will be entering eighth grade at Parkway Central Middle School.

The Mary Culver Home is a charitable, not-for-profit, non-denominational organization licensed as a nursing home by the state of Missouri. Originally known as The Blind Girls’ Home, it provides a cozy atmosphere for its 28 residents, dedicated to dignified and compassionate care for blind and legally blind women. This life-care setting encourages a family-like intimacy among residents and staff that make the Home a warm and loving place to live.

Thanks to the generosity and commitment of the community and the volunteer Board of Directors, The Mary Culver Home is funded entirely by charitable donations. To make a donation in Alex and Andrew’s honor and find out more about the home, please visit their Web site at: They also send out a monthly newsletter containing a wish list of items needed for the residents. If you are interested in helping, contact Sandy Gilfillan at 314-966-6034 for more information.