To kick-start the new month, Queens College’s Hillel organized and held their first ever Good Deeds Day Donation Drive on April 8. The Drive accepted donations of “diapers, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and soap bars,” which will be donated to “Homes for the Homeless.”
Good Deeds Day was organized by sophomore and undeclared major, Aviva Chait, who is one of QC Hillel’s LINK Fellowship interns. She described LINK as a, “Student engagement fellowship that you apply for if you have programming you want to run, like engaging with the community, and it gives you funding.”
Chait decided to bring Good Deeds Day to QC to celebrate her birthday in her own personal manner, which was only two days prior to the global holiday.
“This event is very personal for me because I turned 20 on Saturday [April 6] and I was really thankful for all the things in my life and I wanted to give back and say thank you for all the good things in my life and in general,” said Chait.
In addition, Chait says this couldn’t have come at a better time. As Pesach, the annual Jewish holiday in which Jews abstain from eating chametz (leaven), foods either made from or mixed with wheat, barley, rye or oats, draws near, Jewish students are frantically giving away everything they cannot keep.
Pesach is known as the ‘Spring cleaning’ holiday and in addition to getting rid of prohibited foods, many choose to donate old clothing, furniture or cookware they no longer need, and even personal necessities that others may need as a way of doing chesed, which is the Hebrew term for ‘community service.’
“In general, we would like to do more community service,” Chait said.
She hopes that this will become an annual event in Hillel, as it turned out to be a success. Her fellow Jewish peers here at QC agreed.
QC Hillel is located in room 206 of the Student Union. Students are invited to lounge with friends at the ping pong table, pray in the designated Jewish prayer room or eat some kosher food at the countless events held by the staff. There you will find a warm community of students who all share a common religious background, waiting with open arms.
Gabriella Kokhabi is a junior majoring in sociology and minoring in economics. She’s been one of the biggest fans of Hillel since she came to Queens College in her freshman year, explaining that she was initially drawn to it because “it’s always open and there’s always something to do.”
“In the past I’ve attended their events and co-hosted events with them,” she explained. “They are always open to the idea of having events and there’s something for everyone.”
When she attended the event, Kokhabi immediately noted that, “It was a fun and creative way to give back to the community.” She applauds Chait on her excellent idea and hopes that there will be more akin to this event in the future.