San Diego Jewish Academy’s Helping Hands club members help feed homeless


By Karen Billing

San Diego Jewish Academy’s Helping Hands service club members made over 200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless to be served through the Destiny’s Hope Outreach program last week.

Students worked for an hour on March 27 making the sandwiches and even students who aren’t in the Helping Hands club stopped by to help.

“After every event that people come to they always talk about how rewarding what they did was,” said sophomore co-president Nancy Edid. “Judaism teaches us ‘Love thy neighbor as yourself’ and that is exactly what Helping Hearts tries to do. We try to instill the values of helping out the community in everyone we come in contact with.”

Nancy started Helping Hearts last school year and the club picked up where they left off in December 2011. Nancy, who will turn 16 on April 9, was inspired to start the club as she never forgot the experience of feeding the homeless for her Bat Mitzvah as a sixth grader.

Nancy found that when telling her friends about starting the club, it was cool because so many of them remembered and loved the service project they did in sixth grade.

“I always try to help the community,” said Nancy, who for her birthday in fifth grade raised funds to help the people in Darfur. “It makes me feel good.”

Helping Hearts, which Nancy runs with co-president Talia Rosen, has participated in several service activities since they started.

St. Vincent de Paul Village was their first stop, where they helped pass out food to hundreds of people in the downtown San Diego area.

This year, through the Interfaith Shelter Rotational Program, they served food at the Christ Lutheran Church in Pacific Beach. The club raised funds to provide a tasty meal of rotisserie chicken, rolled chicken tacos, macaroni and cheese, Caesar salad, egg salad, fruit, vegetables, croissants, pie, ice cream, chicken fingers and corn.

Helping Hearts is next hoping to partner up with Feed America.

With the success they’ve had at SDJA, Nancy will soon be helping start new chapters of Helping Hands at Torrey Pines High and Bonita Vista in Chula Vista.

She is encouraged that other teenagers across the county have the same interest in helping the community as they do at SDJA.