Many years ago, Congregation Beth Shalom made a commitment to the people of DeKalb county. Our social action has taken many forms over the years, as we often joined with other community groups to work for those in need. In recent years, the congregation has placed a priority on work to help those in our larger community who are in need of assistance putting food on the table. The Social Action Committee organizes volunteers and donations (of both food and money) in support of these efforts, sometimes working through the congregation’s Feed Our Community fund. Here are our major projects:
- Volunteering at the Barb Food Mart, which serves all of DeKalb County. We help with various aspects of food distribution. Our core of volunteers are dedicated, reliable and appreciated. The training is easy and there is always a need for help. New participants are welcome anytime!
- Providing dinners to the residents of the Hope Haven homeless shelter. Our once a month Hope Haven dinners feed 40 plus people. Usually, two families work together to plan, shop, cook or cater and then deliver a hot nutritious meal for residents of the shelter. We offer menu suggestions, tips and funds to those helpers. It is a very rewarding experience.We have been faithfully honoring this commitment for many years.
- Preparing Thanksgiving Baskets has become a CBS tradition. The baskets are designed to provide a holiday dinner with all the trimmings. Some years, the Salvation Army provides us with a list of food, we purchase the needed items in bulk, fill the bags and then deliver them to their building. The Salvation Army then distributes them to families in need through out the county. We ask for monetary donations to purchase the food needed, along with volunteers to assemble the baskets once the food has been purchased. Basket assembly takes about two hours and is actually a fun experience. Other years, we simply raise funds and give the money directly to the Salvation Army to use to put together the bags. We are very proud of the number of families that can have a happy holiday on us!
If you are interesting in getting involved in any of these programs, or in helping to provide support in other ways to needy members of our community (and beyond), please e-mail the Social Action Director.