Mitzvah Day


About Mitzvah Day   Support Mitzvah Day and Donations

Thank you for volunteering on Mitzvah Day!

(Photo credit for Mitzvah Day photos goes to Kim Lan Grout and Omari Akil.)

Volunteer Pre-registration is now closed.

  • There will be limited walk-in volunteer opportunities
  • Please arrive at the Levin JCC between 9 and 10am and go to the Welcome Station
  • Contact Madeline Seltman, Director of Engagement at or 919-354-4938 for assistance.
  • Please note, T-shirt pre-order deadline has passed. Extras will be on sale on Mitzvah Day on a first come, first serve basis for $10 for short sleeve and $15 for long sleeve.

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Create beautiful and functional things to brighten someones’ day:

 Making Things for Others

These projects reflect Jewish values of K’vod He-ahnee (respecting the poor), Tza’ar Ba’alay Hayim (kindness to animals), and Tzedakah (charity).

OrganizationFamily FriendlyAssociated CostTimeVolunteers NeededDescriptionLocation
Blanket Durham


All ages – kids welcome!Socks (optional)10am-12pm30 – FullMake no-sew fleece blankets and care packages for Urban Ministries.JCC
BRIDGES Greeting Card Making


All ages. Volunteers available to help anyone with special needs.None10am-11:30am20 – FullMake greeting cards to be used by JCC and JFS and to sell- priority given to volunteers with special needs and their families.JCC
Durham Literacy Center All ages – great for kidsNone10am-12pm20- FullCreate bookmarks for adults in literacy programsJCC

Habitat for Humanity baffle decorating

 All ages – great for kidsNone10am-11:30am15 – FullDecorate cardboard baffles to be installed in the attics of Habitat for Humanity homesJCC
Paper bag messagesAll ages- great for kidsNone10am-11:30am20 – FullDecorate paper lunch bags and write messages for bagged lunches at Urban Ministries.JCC
Picture frame making for PettigrewAll ages – great for kidsNone10am-12pm16 – FullPaint picture frames for nursing home residentsJCC
Soup MakingAll ages – great for kidsNone10am-11am12 – FullPut together dry soup mixes for clients at Urban Ministries’ food pantry.JCC
Toys for DogsAll ages-great for kidsNone10am-12pm20 – FullMake fleece dog toys to be delivered to local animal sheltersJCC


Make food for those in need, those with sick children, and our public servants:

Cooking/Baking for Others

These projects reflect Jewish values of K’vod He-ahnee (respecting the poor) and V’ahavta l’rayaha kamokha (love your neighbor as yourself).

OrganizationFamily FriendlyAssociated CostTimeVolunteers NeededDescriptionLocation
Chapel Hill Police DepartmentAll ages1 or more dishes.11am-12pm8 – FullDeliver desserts to police officers on duty.Chapel Hill
Durham Police DepartmentAll ages1 or more large dishes12pm-1pm8 – FullDeliver a home-cooked desserts to 50 on-duty officersDurham, downtown
Durham Rescue Mission Age 10+1 or more large dishes or ingredients11am-1pm20 – FullCook and serve lunch for 130-140 men’s shelter residents.Durham, near downtown
Fire Station 11All ages1 or more dishes1pm-2pm6 – FullDeliver a home-cooked meal to 4 on-duty officers.Durham, near JCC
Ronald McDonald House CH  Ages 10+1 or more large dishes.3pm-7:30pm8 – FullCook and serve dinner for 50-60 family members of sick children.Chapel Hill, near UNC Hopitals
Ronald McDonald House Durham-DinnerAges 8+Ingredients for 1 or more large dishes (to cook on site).4:30pm-7pm20 – FullCook and serve dinner for 50-60 family members of sick childrenDurham , near Duke Hospitals
Threshold ClubhouseAges 10+None10am-1pm10FullCook lunch with and visit with clubhouse members with mental illness.East Durham
Urban MinistriesAges 10+ None10:30pm-1:30pm8 – FullCook and serve meals to the guests at the shelter.Durham, downtown


Spend time with older adults:

Visiting Seniors

These projects reflect Jewish values of Bikkur Holim (visiting the sick) and Hiddur P’nay Zakayn (honoring the elderly).

OrganizationFamily FriendlyAssociated CostTimeVolunteers NeededDescriptionLocation
Just added!


Best for adultsNone10:15am-12pm20 – FullSing carols to older adults in memory care at 2 locationsDurham, near rt. 54
Carolina PointDesignated project for teens None10am -1pm20 – FullSing carols to and with residents.Durham, near JCC
Hillcrest Convalescence HomeAll ages – great for kidsSnacks/treats (optional)10am-12pm15 – FullPlay bingo and other activities with residents.Durham, near Duke East Campus

Meals on Wheels Chapel Hill

All agesNone10am-12pm5 – FullDeliver meals to home-bound older adults.Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Southern Orange County

Projects taking care of the environment and being outside:

Get Outside

These projects reflect the Jewish value of  Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

OrganizationFamily FriendlyAssociated CostTimeVolunteers NeededDescriptionLocation

Accessible Icon Project
5+None10am-12pm15- FullSpray paint accessible icon on city parking spacesDurham, location TBD

Lerner Garden Project
All agesNone10am-12pm15 – FullPlanting flower bulbs and perennialsnext door to JCC
Trees Across Durham10+None10am-12pm20- FullPlant trees through Durham Sustainability programDurham neighborhood TBD
Park Clean UpAll ages – great for kidsNone10:30am-12pm12 – FullBeautify local parks and public areas.Durham, park TBD

Wrap and deliver gifts, and more:

More Projects

These projects reflect Jewish values of  Gemilut Hasadim (righteous deeds), rahamanut (compassion), and Ahavat yisrael (love of our neighbors).

OrganizationFamily FriendlyAssociated CostTimeVolunteers NeededDescriptionLocation

Mitzvah Day breakfast and event support
8+NoneDec 24 afternoon/evening OR Dec 25 7:30am-11 am15- FullHelp plan and set up/clean up Mitzvah Day Breakfast (you can do this and another project)JCC

Caring House
20s & 30s, with Next Dor,  Moishe House, and Durham ISHNone10am-12pm15 –  FullClean and organize house for cancer patientsDurham, near JCC
Families Moving Forward All agesWrapping paper and ribbon  ($10-$25)10am-11am10 – FullWrap items and make cards to be delivered to residentsJCC
Habitat for HumanityAll agesCleaning/household items ($20-$40)10am-12pm15 – FullAssemble and deliver Welcome Baskets for new Habitat homeowners.JCC, then delivering in Durham
NC Diaper Bank All ages- great for kidsPackage(s) of diapers (optional)10am-11:30am15 – FullSort and wrap diapers from diaper drive for families in needJCC

Walltown Children’s Theatre

10+None10am-12pm25 – FullDeep clean children’s theatreNorthwest Durham

 Sign up instructions:

  • Click the name of the project to be taken to a sign up
  • Please be sure to select the number of slots for people in your family/group, and list their names and kids’ ages in the comment box.
  • At the bottom of each sign up, you can also choose to:
    • Make a tax-deductible donation, which helps cover food and supplies for projects and other Mitzvah Day expenses.
    • RSVP for Chinese dinner and a family-friendly movie at 5:30pm back at the JCC.
  • You do not need a Sign up Genius account or WePay account to register or to pay.