An old dear friend of mine, known online as "edsbrooklyn," got in touch with me about a project her teenage son, known as "brooklyniac," is engaged in as part of his Bar Mitzvah.
As he explained in his diary on Daily Kos: "For those of you who do not know, every Bar or Bat Mitzvah child is obligated to undertake a project to do Tikkun Olam, Hebrew for repairing the world. These projects can be anything from collecting old cell phones to be recycled for domestic violence victims, or raising money for a foundation, organization, or cause."
As of Sunday, he has started raising money for an organization called "Shelterbox." The organization provides carefully packed and sealed boxes that include shelter and emergency aid all over the world where help is needed. The contents of the box depend upon the emergency at hand and what is most needed at that location.
Incredibly, ShelterBox had people on the ground delivering boxes within 24 hours of the earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan.
On Sunday, brooklyniac and his mom held a bake sale outside their home and managed to raise over $200.
At a time of great crisis in the world, it made me smile to think that a kid from Brooklyn, in one selfless act, might be helping a kid from Fukushima or Sendai in a real way. And even though that kid in Japan will never know brooklyniac or his mom, I do. Thanks for reminding me to pay it forward. Hope that others will join me as well.