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 the Mitzvah Corps today!
Find out how to get involved and spread light every day. Jump to:
Ways to Get Involved |Request Food Assistance | Food Assistance FAQ
Other Volunteer Opportunities | Learning Together | Community Resources
Focus Area: Food Insecurity
The 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 SJCC 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 the SJCC has collected and distributed over 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: Cheerios, Life cereal, instant oatmeal, oatmeal canister, pasta (any kind), rice, quinoa, couscous, canned tuna, canned salmon, juices, 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 your 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’s Kesher Community Garden will go to families in need. As we honor the Earth around us 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!
- Timeslots are available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8-10 am. Sign-up here >>
- Contact Stephanie Aaronson with questions up.
Share your Garden: donate food from your garden to distribute to those in need.
- Requested foods include bell peppers, potatoes, carrots, berries, zucchini, kale, cucumber, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, garlic, onions, shallots, chives, and spinach.
- Donated food must be whole, uncooked, and uncut.
- You can drop your donations off at the SJCC on Saturdays and Sundays between 10 am and 3 pm and Mondays between 8 am and noon.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Ongoing opportunities at the J
- SixThirTeens: a self-directed teen volunteer group. Learn more >>
- Kesher Community Garden: help harvest, weed, water, and more. Learn more >>
- Arts + Ideas program: help with events and more. Contact for more information >>
- Mercer Island Youth & Family Services (MIYFS)
- Jewish Family Services (JFS)
- Byrd Barr
- Mary’s Place Seattle
Food Insecurity FAQ
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 Stephanie Aaronson if you are interested in volunteering with the 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? Email Stephanie Aaronson to learn more.
What topics will the 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 Stephanie Aaronson.