When we work and strive to make the world a better place, with just a little mindfulness, we open ourselves up to growing and becoming better people. By engaging in mindful social action, we not only create a better world, but we make ourselves better as well!
We hope that you will consider participating in the volunteer opportunities, projects and initiatives listed below. You can also check out "Social Action at TBZ" on Facebook.
It is our hope that these resources will enable and empower all of us to roll up our sleeves, get active, make this world a better place, and improve ourselves in the process!
Rabbi Adam Scheldt
Town Square Food Pantry - Here's How You Can Help
Five ways for you to help out the food pantry in the coming weeks:
1) Harvesting Fruit: We are in need of a small group of people to help pick pears from a TBZ members trees on their residence. We have a TBZ member who has a few pear trees willing to donate the fruit to the food pantry but is not able to pick it. The member lives in the Amherst/Tonawanda area. This is a small but beneficial opportunity. We will arrange a time after September 9.
2) Food Transportation: This idea came up during our TBZ meeting with volunteers in April. Focused on ways in which we could quality and transport food to those in need but are home bound and cannot come to the pantry. This is an ideal opportunity for those who are available at times when the pantry is not open or need a flexible schedule.
While still in the early stages of development with Catholic Charities and our other partners it would be helpful to have an idea of how many people may be interested in either transporting food to individuals AND/OR be willing to volunteer hours to pack bags of non-perishable goods to be delivered.
3) Pantry Onsite Volunteers: We are looking to put together another training session for those individuals interested and available to work onsite in the pantry. Only volunteers who have attended a formal training can be scheduled. The training date and time will be determined based on interest and availability of staff - more information to come.
Pantry volunteers must be available work shifts Tuesdays and/or Fridays between 9am-3pm. After the training session, we will be working with the Catholic Charities team on how to incorporate volunteers into the existing schedule and existing volunteer staffing to cover shifts as needed.
4) Food Pantry Newsletter: we are looking for anyone interest in writing/contributing a newsletter for the food pantry to provide helpful information, recipes, money saving ideas, etc. This is a creative opportunity for someone or a group of people who are interesting in putting together a 1 or 2 page newsletter to give to pantry members. The frequency can be determined by you - monthly, quarterly, you decide! Use your creative and money saving skills to help others.
5) As a reminder, our annual Yom Kippur Food Drive is being held on Wednesday, September 23. Please bring a bag of non-perishable food to services with you. Our TBZ Youth Group will be on hand to help collect food and load the truck.
If you are interested in any of the above opportunities or if you have an idea, please use the electronic form below so we may contact you.
The Karen people originate from Burma in southeast Asia. Many Karen refugees currently reside in Buffalo and are incredibly skilled at weaving. Susan Bruckheimer along with the Buffalo Weaver’s Guild have begun a project to enable Karen women to develop into a collective creative community force. If you or someone you know has a loom to donate, or if you would like to take on the simple woodworking project of creating a warping board, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Kulanu is a collective of individuals dedicated to making our community a just, safe, welcoming, and inviting place for Jewish members of the LGBT community. Kulanu explores and engages educational, social, and supportive opportunities to cultivate TBZ as a home for all people. To become involved or for more information, please email Rabbi Scheldt at email@example.com!
The Family Justice Center provides free services for domestic violence victims and their children through an extensive collaboration with 13 partner agencies, all located at one secured, comfortable location, where victims can get all the services they need to safely escape abuse. The Family Justice Center offers many different volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups interested in getting involved.
- Intake Specialists: Intake specialists help clients obtain services by performing intake assessments and obtaining referrals to appropriate partner agencies.
- SAFELine Responders: SAFELine Responders provide information and support to hotline callers and make referrals to appropriate onsite partners.
- Child Waiting Area Volunteers: Volunteers in our Child Waiting Area provide supervision to children between the ages of 3-13. These volunteers provide a warm and supportive play environment for the children of Family Justice Center clients while the clients receive services.
- Hospitality Volunteers: Hospitality Volunteers create a welcoming environment for new clients by initially greeting them in the Front Porch and assisting them through the intake process.
- Chaplains: Chaplains provide spiritual support and discuss any spiritual questions or difficulties with clients, especially struggles with suffering, the marriage covenant or other faith related issues.
- Clerical Support: Clerical Support Volunteers assist staff in reception, clerical, or other office duties
- Donations of “everyday” items (shampoo, soap, etc.) can also make a huge difference as well and are accepted on an open basis.
The mission of Family Promise of WNY is to unite religious and other organizations in responding to the needs of homeless families in our community. Uniting hearts and hands, the network provides a way for homeless families to receive temporary shelter, meals, and assistance while seeking their own independence.
It's more than providing shelter, meals and support. It's about keeping entire families together while they work toward having a home to call their own.
We lovingly assist Crossroads Lutheran Church by cooking and socializing with these families approximately four times a year. Please click here to contact Sharon and find out more.
Volunteers provide a wide range of supplemental support and financial assistance to programs for our Veteran patients throughout the year. There are many ways to give:
Donation Of Time:
One of the most precious and generous gifts is of your time. We have many positions in our facilities that are waiting to be filled by individuals or groups that are willing and able to give of themselves. Contacting the Voluntary Service at your local VAMC will provide you with more information on positions as well as committees that need volunteers. Some examples:
Monetary And Material Goods:
Our medical centers could not provide many of the services for Veterans if it were not for the generosity of people in the community; the veterans service organizations, fraternal organizations, and businesses. Donations of cash and materials supplement the operating budget of the facilities and provide for the increasing needs of the veterans we serve. Contacting the Voluntary Service at your local VAMC will provide you with more information on ongoing programs and projects that need your help. Recent examples:
Palliative care rooms
There are some restrictions to volunteering at the VA. Volunteers must meet certain age requirements and submit to a standard governmental screening. To learn more please visit www.buffalo.va.gov/giving/index.asp.
As the second-oldest humane society in the United States, the SPCA Serving Erie County continues to set the standard in animal adoption and rescue, exceeding the expectations and guidelines for shelter operations. More than just finding loving homes for pets, we provide emergency rescue and shelter for mistreated, injured, or abandoned domesticated animals, as well as rehabilitation and re-release services for wildlife. At the SPCA Serving Erie County, we have a duty to the animals - and the community - to protect our most defenseless creatures. To learn more about how you can help animals in need, please visit www.yourspca.org/page.aspx?pid=401.
The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas: disaster relief, supporting our military families, blood donation, health and safety services, and international care. Find out how you can help by visiting www.redcross.org/support.
Grassroots Gardens of Buffalo enables community-led efforts to revitalize the city and enhance quality of life through the creation and maintenance of community gardens that beautify blocks, grow healthy food, and strengthen neighborhood spirit. There are many ways that you can get involved and exercise your green thumb all while helping to make communities better! Visit www.grassrootsgardens.org/support-us.html or www.grassrootsfardens.org/volunteer-forms.html to learn more!
Compass House provides safe shelter and services to runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth. Through our voluntary programs at the Emergency Shelter and Resource Center, we provide runaway, homeless and street youth with services in an environment that supports dignity, respect and self-reliance. You can learn more about Compass House and find out how you can get involved by visiting www.compasshouse.org/content/pages/volunteer.
We welcome your feedback on any of the above projects and organizations. Send an e-mail to the Social Action Committee by clicking here.
We as a congregation can and do make a difference in our community. Anyone can help, and we want you! To be a part of the action in any way, large or small, contact Rabbi Adam Scheldt.
Pride @ TBZ!
Happy Pride to our TBZ community and all of WNY!
Members of Temple Beth Zion join with the
LGBT community in the annual Pride Parade.