Monday, March 9, 2009

A Chicago-Inspired Tzedakah Goal!

Having just returned from a five-day trek to Chicago for a little vacation (I'm on Spring Break this week, huzzah!), I will be writing a few different installments about my trip -- some uber-Jewish, some not. Enjoy!

In an effort to increase the returns on karma, I have decided to give tzedakah every day. Yes, EVERY day. I've made plans to commandeer Tuvia's UJF tzedakah box (though I have yet to mention this to him) that his mother sent his way, since we have a nice, new Purim-inspired, Chabad-issued tzedakah box at Tuvia's place. The effort was sort of randomly begun while we visited Chicago after I found myself giving twice in a series of days to jewish causes.

On Friday, while at Breadsmith -- a delicious kosher bakery in Skokie and Lakeview that dishes out amazing challahs, and interesting jars of peanut butter (including a jar that was almost taken from us at security -- chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter!) -- I was procuring two chocolate chip challah "muffins" while Tuvia spoke with a nice Jewish man in the next shopping center over about our options for a kosher lunch. I saw the run-o-the-mill tzedakah box on the counter and threw my change (about a dollar's worth) into the box. A few days later, on Sunday, while waiting to get brunch at my favorite "kosher style" diner in Chicago -- Eleven City Diner -- I saw another Jewishly oriented charity box on the counter, dug through my purse and pockets and threw some change in. It was then that I decided and made the vow to donate a little every day. So Monday, in an effort to continue the trend, I took our two seven-day passes -- both with three full days left on them -- and passed them on to complete strangers preparing to buy their OWN CTA bus/train cards at the airport.

Now, I'm not saying I'm going to give $20 every day, neither am I intending on only giving a dollar in change every day. The amounts will vary, and I will do my best to document them as such. I always end up with some change taking up space. My old method was to chuck it all into my personally painted piggy bank that I made years ago when in high school (or was it college?). Piggy banks scream "treyf," so I'm going to pack the little piggy away and replace it with the UJF tzedakah box until I manage to get a more fancy tzedakah box.

I'm blogging about this in the hopes that perhaps others will see how easy it is to give just a little bit every day. Whether it's $20, 50 cents, or something in between, every little bit can make every little bit of a difference. I'll be blogging EVERY DAY in order to log my efforts, hoping that maybe I can inspire a few other bloggers to do the same. If it becomes excessive? Well, I'll probably set something up and merely put a link to it on the side.

Until then ...