In a strong showing of WIZO solidarity and proudly wearing their bright blue WIZO T-shirts, over 50 enthusiastic staff members from World WIZO Headquarters, as well as many members of the World WIZO Executive, rolled up their sleeves for Israel’s annual Good Deeds Day (Yom Maasim Tovim), a national day for volunteering and doing good deeds for others.
From wiping sticky fingers and playground duties in WIZO Day Care Centers, gardening and decorating at WIZO schools and youth villages, to working in the kitchens of WIZO's Parent's Home, the WIZO team exemplified WIZO’s volunteering spirit.
Good Deeds for WIZO's Children, Youth and Seniors
On Good Deeds Day the WIZO team pitched in at five different WIZO day care centers, three WIZO schools and youth villages and at WIZO's Parent's Home in Tel Aviv. Two of the day care centers, the Weizmann Institute Early Age Center and the Silverstein Day Care Center, are located in Rehovot, two others, the Mathilde Nahmias Hassid Multipurpose Day Care Center and the Beit Peru Multipurpose Day Care Center are in Tel Aviv, and the Chorley Day Care Center is situated in Kfar Saba.
At the two Rehovot Day care centers, the WIZO team prepared games for and played with the children both inside the center and in their playground. Meanwhile, at the Cholrley Day Care Center, the volunteers took part in the kindergarten's morning session with the children and prepared puppets for their theater. In the afternoon, they helped clean up and organize the center's playground equipment. At the Mathilde Nahmias Hassid Multipurpose Day Care Center, the WIZO volunteers cleared out the center's storage facility, painted it and cleaned all the outdoor toys. And at Beit Peru, the WIZO volunteers helped the children plant seeds in the center's garden in the morning and in the afternoon painted colorful and inspirational sayings along the center's entrance path.
Other WIZO staff members lent at hand at three of WIZO's schools and youth villages: CHW Hadassim Children & Youth Vilage in Even Yehuda, WIZO Nachlat Yehuda Youth Village in Rishon LeZion and WIZO Municipal Technological High School in the name of Maya Rosenberg in Rehovot. At CHW Hadassim, they were given a lesson in botany and helped out in the greenhouse, prepaing seedlings of herbs and general gardening.
At Nachlat Yehuda, the WIZO volunteers, together with the students, painted benches, picked fruit, prepared herb baskets, set up for the Good Deeds Day fair, and helped prepare the dispaly outside the bigudit (thrift store).
At the WIZO Municipal Technological High School, the volunteers painted part of the entrance hall of the school and sorted and arranged fabrics for the fashion design studies division.
At the WIZO Parents Home in Tel Aviv, the WIZO volunteers organized the library and helped out in the kitchen.
Good Deeds Day Around the Word: 93 Countries, Over 2.5 Million Volunteers
Good Deeds Day was marked in Israel on March 13th, in advance of the Passover holiday, while International Good Deeds Day will be marked globally on April 15th. Local municipalities, companies, and nonprofit organizations, including WIZO, from all around the country participated by organizing special activities in their communities, renovating or painting buildings, building community gardens, and volunteering in many other ways for populations in need.
First launched in Israel in 2007, in just over a decade Good Deeds Day has spread to 93 counties across the globe with over 2.5 million participants volunteering worldwide. While Israel's first Good Deeds Day in 2007 drew 7,000 participants, by 2016 the number of participants in Israel soared to 1.5 million.
Good Deeds Day: "I received much more than I gave"
Participation in Good Deeds Day had a profound effect on the WIZO volunteers.
"I felt that I received much more than I gave," Dina Cohen of Word WIZO's Leadership and Global Relations Division said.
"It was wonderful, we have to do this every year," said Adi Dror of World WIZO's Fundraising Division.
"Social involvement is the spirit of WIZO's values," Zohar Shalhevet, Director of the Leadership and Global Relations Division of World WIZO, said. "Today we proved proudly that giving begins at home."
"As Chairperson of World WIZO, an organization that supports, enables and operates networks of volunteers to help children, women and youth, I salute all the WIZO staff that took part in Good Deeds Day," World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky said. "Our movement's work perfectly encompasses the values of Good Deeds Day. Our good deeds are carried out every day, at our Day Care Centers, in our youth villages and schools, in our women’s centers, at our shelters and in all of our hundreds of institutions, where we assist all those who need us and give opportunities and conditions for a better life. Good Deeds Day is a day we should all celebrate WIZO's good deeds and look to the future for new challenges and new projects to continue our sacred work and reaffirm our commitment to Tikkun Olam."