JFS Perspectives

Friday, November 14, 2014

Relieving Hunger One Bag at a Time

Guest Blog Post by Audrey Friedman Marcus

In my November article, “Beyond the Lemonade Stand: Raising Charitable Children,” I briefly mentioned a project undertaken by the Resnik family of Denver—putting together meal bags with the ingredients for tuna casseroles for the Weinberg Food Pantry of Jewish Family Service. Ever since, I’ve thought a lot about the enthusiasm, pleasure, and sense of worth this family experienced as they worked together to help others.

In a recent follow-up conversation with Jamie Resnik, a freelance writer, I learned that these positive feelings still remain months after the completion of the family project in June. When asked about it, six-year-old Max Resnik, was quick to respond, “It made my heart happy to know that I am helping someone eat, because if you don’t eat, you can’t live.” And Julia Resnik, just four years old, still remembers the fun she had putting the bags of food together.

Jamie and her husband, Andrew, model Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) in other ways as well. They make an effort to have dinner together most nights, and the conversation often revolves around the importance of doing nice things for others. Max and Julia are aware of and appreciate Jamie’s volunteer work at their school where she’s currently co-chairing the biggest fundraiser of the year. She also carries high protein meals in her car to hand out to homeless people in need. Just as important as the act, she and Andrew believe, is the discussion that takes place afterward. Max and Julia always ask a lot of good questions: Where do people go at night? Where do they get a meal? Why are they not working?

These two youngsters have learned firsthand how blessed their family is, and the value of helping others who are not as fortunate. Other big “takeaways” from the tuna casserole project, says Jamie, include quality family time and the gratification that comes from helping others.

Based on her belief in the importance of consistency, the Resniks plan to do another family project for the Weinberg Food Pantry before the end of the year. During the upcoming holidays. Jewish Family Service offers many opportunities for families, including their program called Bright Holidays, through which parents and children can “adopt” a family at holiday time, providing meals and gifts. For information on all the ways you can join the Resniks in helping JFS help others, go to www.jewishfamilyservice.org/volunteer.


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