Mitzvah Corps

Join the Corps! Better Our Community. Volunteer Together.

The SJCC’s volunteer program, Mitzvah Corps, addresses the needs of our local community through volunteer opportunities and outreach programs where neighbors can help neighbors. Together, we’ll focus on different issues throughout the year as our community’s needs evolve.

The term “mitzvah” is often translated to “good deed,” and when translated directly means “commandment,” reminding us to act with gratitude and kindness each and every day. Join Mitzvah Corps today!

Volunteer Opportunities

Join the Mitzvah Corps Button

Questions? Contact Director of Community Engagement Matt Lemchen

Focus Area: Food Insecurity

SJCC Mitzvah Corps is currently focused on food insecurity. The number of people in Washington who are food insecure has almost doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The J aims to spread light in this darkness by collecting food at our building on Mercer Island located conveniently just off I-90. We will distribute non-perishable food donations to local food banks. Since August 2020, the SJCC has collected and distributed more than 1,400 pounds of food!

Ways to Get Involved

Donate Non-Perishable Food/Items: You can donate the following items. Please note, we cannot accept any meat, dairy, frozen products, or prepared foods.

  • Non-perishable food requests: cereal, instant oatmeal,  oatmeal canister, pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous, canned tuna, canned salmon, juice, tomato sauce, jam, peanut butter, beans, canned veggies, canned soup, canned/jarred tomato products.
  • You can drop off donations at the J between 9 am and 6 pm, Monday-Friday, or 10 am to 3 pm, Saturday-Sunday. Drop off items in the bin at the top of the entrance ramp. Please note, you will not be allowed into the building.

Due to the tremendous community response, we are no longer accepting paper bags. Thank you for your help!

Monetary Donations: these funds will go directly toward purchasing food for those in need. Donate here >>

Help in the Kesher Community Garden: food from the SJCC Kesher Community Garden will go to families in need. As we honor the Earth by working the soil, we are linked to our neighbors by sharing the food produced. Spend time caring for and harvesting all the plants here. This is appropriate for people who know how to garden and people who have never gardened before! Sign up here >>

Community Resources

Food Insecurity FAQ

What if I know someone who is food insecure?
Click here to find additional food assistance resources in the area.

Where are we currently sourcing food?
The food we are distributing comes from food donations from our community. In the spring, summer and fall, the SJCC sources food from the SJCC Kesher Community Garden and the Mercer Island Farmer’s Market.

How do I volunteer?
We love having volunteers! Email Matt Lemchen if you’re interested in volunteering with Mitzvah Corps. We have virtual, in-person, and off-site opportunities available. All are following safety guidelines during the pandemic. See Ways to Get Involved.

What age are volunteers?
Volunteers can be any age!  We have opportunities for families, teens, and adults. Interested in volunteering?

What topics will Mitzvah Corps focus on?
We’re focusing on issues that are impacting our community, so our focus will evolve as the community’s needs shift. What’s next? You tell us! If you have suggestions for ways to help our community, email Matt Lemchen.