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Good-deed doing

Locals chip in for philanthropic fun

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Girl Scout Daisies participate in activities for “Good Deeds Day.”

They packed it in in Paramus last Sunday.

“They” being the hundreds of people who showed up at the headquarters of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, to mark “Good Deeds Day.”

“It” being enough nonperishable food to fill hundreds and hundreds of bags destined for area food pantries – a precise count was not available, but volunteers gathered well more than the 700 bags logged last year.

Most of the food had been collected beforehand at 46 locations across the region – synagogues, schools, Jewish community centers, social service agencies, and even a dance studio.

After being bagged, it was delivered to six community food banks.

(Some of the local synagogues that are far away from Paramus cut out the middlemen and delivered the food they collected to their local food pantries themselves.)

Good Deeds Day began in Israel in 2007, the brainchild of Carnival Lines heiress Shari Aronson, as “an annual celebration of good, calling everyone to come out together and give of themselves for the benefit of others.”

By this year, the event had spread to the Bahamas and Costa Rica, as well as to Oregon and Alabama.

In New Milford, Girl Scout Daisies – kindergarten and first graders – at the Solomon Schechter Day School’s Troop 5832 hosted neighboring troops for a Purim-themed Good Deeds Day. The Schechter girls told the story of Purim, and then set about four different Good Deeds activities:

They baked hamantaschen and then delivered them to the New Milford Police and Fire Departments; they sorted and packed toiletries for distribution at homeless shelters; they packed candy bags with Hershey Kisses and distributed them to the New Jersey Veteran’s Home in Paramus; and they made Purim cards that will be distributed to residents of Jewish Home at Rockleigh.

The Good Deeds Day’s website already is counting down to next year’s event on March 15, 2015, though good deeds are always welcome. As Miriam Allenson of the Jewish Federation put it, “The prevention of hunger among the needy is something we should do all year long.”

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