At a ceremony on May 21st and in the presence of Raanana Mayor Ze'ev Bielski as well as representatives from various participating schools and local non profit organizations, the municipality presented 37 youths with Medals of Recognition for their volunteer services to the community in 2015. The volunteers had accomplished a record of 60 volunteer hours throughout the year. Each organization was encouraged to nominate those who had performed exemplary service. We were proud to have nominated Eden and Daniel Heumann, two very capable 10th graders, and delighted to see them receive the award.
In early May, Ramaz Lower School in New York City launched a special glasses collection campaign. The Lower School students were asked to bring used eyeglasses to school. Grade 8 students would then take the glasses with them to donate to RE-SPECS when they went on their trip to Israel a few weeks later. Rabbi Koslowe (head of the Lower School) reminded the students that every morning in tefilla we recite the morning bracha "Pokeach Ivrim" for being able to open our eyes afresh. He also taught them that sight is a gift that shouldn't be taken for granted. Well, Ramaz definitely didn't take if for granted and neither did we! When we met the group under the rare rainy skies of May, we told them all about RE-SPECS and were then presented with bulging bags of collected glasses. Thank you Ramaz!
B'nai B'rith Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, is taking on another great project! This time they're going green as they join the recycling effort by tapping into pre-loved specs. The project, spearheaded by Israeli resident Rona Roth (ex-Aussie), Yvonne Elton (Mitzvah Lodge, Melb.) and Ruth Figdor (Raoul Wallenberg Unit, Melb.), has yielded tremendous results. More challenging than it sounds, they have graciously built into the project a system of collecting the resource at their Kooyong Road office, as well as finding helpful travelers who bring the glasses to RE-SPECS. Good on ya, B'nai B'rith!
Did you know that 61 countries and 930,000 volunteers participated in the event in 2015? We at RE-SPECS participated in no less than 3 events that day: Tel Aviv, Kfar Saba and Hod Hasharon. As part of this nationwide and global event to promote social awareness, good deeds and organizations that engage in just that throughout the year, RE-SPECS held a booth at the fair in Kfar Saba's Kenyon Arim shopping mall. Kfar Saba Mayor Yehuda Ben-Hamo was one of the many that graced us with their presence. A big thank you goes to our team of volunteers who worked at the booths and managed the smooth operations at the store.
Good Deeds Day, an annual event initiated in 2007 by philanthropist Shari Arison and conducted by NGO Ruach Tova, took place on March 24th. "I believe that if people will think good, speak good and do good, the circles of goodness will grow in the world," says Shari. Held under their auspices, the Tel Aviv municipality and Beit Dani community center, the Good Deeds Day fair was a success. At the RE-SPECS booth, local kids from this indigent area of TA participated in a fantastic craft activity using recyclable materials, particularly old glasses lenses.
RE-SPECS Frames for the Needy rescues used and surplus glasses frames for people in need.