Mitzvah Day


About Mitzvah Day   Support Mitzvah Day and Donations

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

Volunteer registration opens Weds, Nov 13!

 Sign up instructions:

  • Pre-registration is required and some projects fill up quickly!
  • 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. Most projects have supply costs which are made possible by your donations!
    • Order a t-shirt ($8 for short sleeve and $13 for long sleeve).
  • You do not need a Sign up Genius account or WePay account to register or to pay.
  • Check out our FAQ or contact Madeline Seltman, Director of Engagement at or 919-354-4938 for assistance.

Click to jump to:

Special groups:

  • Families with kids age 6 and under: Mini Mitzvah Zone
  • Teens:  Cookie Decorating
  • 20s-30s: Caring House

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-12pm30Make 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-11:30am20Make greeting cards to be used by JCC and JFS and to sell- priority given to volunteers with special needs and their families.JCC

Cookie Decorating

 TeensNone10am-11:30am20Decorate cookies for public servants working Christmas DayJCC
Habitat for Humanity baffle decorating  All ages – great for kidsNone10am-11:30am15Decorate cardboard baffles to be installed in the attics of Habitat for Humanity homesJCC
Mini Mitzvah Zone, brought to you by PJ LibraryFamilies with kids 6 and underNone10am-11:30am40Rotate among kid-friendly projects in one space like making bookmarks for people learning to read, decorating picture frames for older adults, and making a bird feeder to take home, plus a play corner for the littlest mensches.JCC
Picture frame making for PettigrewAll ages – great for kidsNone10am-12pm16 – FullPaint picture frames for nursing home residentsJCC
Soup MakingAll agesNone10am-11am12Put together dry soup mixes for clients at Urban Ministries’ food pantry.JCC
Toys for DogsAll ages-great for kidsNone10am-12pm20Make 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-12pm8Deliver desserts to police officers on duty.Chapel Hill
Durham Police DepartmentAll ages1 or more large dishes12pm-1pm8Deliver a home-cooked desserts to 50 on-duty officersDurham, downtown
Durham Rescue Mission Age 10+1 or more large dishes or ingredients11am-1pm20Cook and serve lunch for 130-140 men’s shelter residents.Durham, near downtown
Fire Station 11All ages1 or more dishes1pm-2pm6Deliver a home-cooked meal to 4 on-duty officers.Durham, near JCC
Ronald McDonald House CH  Ages 10+1 or more large dishes.3pm-7:30pm8Cook 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-7pm20Cook and serve dinner for 50-60 family members of sick childrenDurham , near Duke Hospitals
Threshold ClubhouseAges 10+None10am-1pm6Cook lunch with and visit with clubhouse members with mental illness.East Durham
Urban MinistriesAges 10+ None10:30pm-1:30pm8Cook 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
BrookdaleBest 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 Theatre10+None10am-12pm25 – FullDeep clean children’s theatreNorthwest Durham