Kindness in Action

Doing good deeds for families and seniors for Mitzvah May

This is an unprecedented time in our country and at home in the Bay Area. We are all struggling with the new reality of sheltering in place, trying to find work/family life balance, and scanning the news for any signs of hope. While we say we are in this together, we also know that some of us have it better than others. Now, more than ever, our community is stepping up for each other to extend a helping hand. PJ Library Bay Area has declared this month Mitzvah May in the hopes of bringing some kindness, love, and support to local seniors and families during this difficult time.

#PJKindness Campaign

Teaching our children to do a good deed (mitzvah in Hebrew) is the best way for them to learn about helping others. Last month we launched a #PJKindness campaign, encouraging PJ Library families to give back to others while sheltering in place. One part of this campaign is an Artwork for Seniors program to collect colorful art and joyful messages from PJ Library children to send to Bay Area senior living facilities to brighten their days and their walls.

Artwork shared by PJ Library families to send to local senior living facilities

We've also partnered with Jewish Family and Children’s Services to help meet the increased demand for grocery staples in their food banks throughout the Bay Area. PJ Library families are donating gift cards and canned goods with notes of kindness to their local JFCS food bank. PJ Library parent Jesykah and her two daughters donated to the JFCS Food Bank in San Mateo because “tikkun olam starts in the home.” Her daughter Emma (4) said “It’s not fair that people don’t have food,” and Sevi (3) added, “I can share my lunch with them.” Jesykah says that she is proud to support organizations doing their part to make our world a better place.

Volunteer with groceries donated by a PJ Library family

Our #PJKindness campaign is helping people like Nancy, a single mom and domestic violence survivor, who was recently laid off from her retail job and relies on JFCS for basic needs to care for herself and her family. Our donations also help seniors like Joe, a Holocaust survivor, who lives alone and doesn’t have family nearby. When his hot-meal program closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Joe was fearful he would experience hunger again. The JFCS food bank sustains Joe and reminds him that he is connected to a caring community.

Please join us for Mitzvah May and help spread #PJKindness

Here's how you can help:

  • Write a note of kindness to brighten someone’s day and include it with a food or gift card donation.
  • Add extra needed items to your grocery cart and drop them off in person outside of your local JFCS office in San Francisco (2 locations), San Mateo, Palo Alto, and San Rafael.
  • Order groceries online via Amazon or Instacart and send to your local JFCS office, c/o JFCS Food Bank.
  • Purchase grocery store gift cards — gift cards can be purchased online (i.e. Whole Foods or Safeway) and emailed to Physical gift cards (Trader Joe's is a popular option for clients) can be dropped off at your local JFCS food bank location or mailed to Irina Klay, JFCS, PO BOX 159004, San Francisco, CA 94115.
  • Share photos of your act of kindness using the hashtag #PJKindness, #JFCSDelivers, and tagging us @pjlibrarybayarea to inspire others.

During Mitzvah May, our PJ Library Bay Area community is proving that kindness starts at home. Even in challenging times, there is always a way to do good in the world. Together, we will lift each other up and make our community stronger.

If you or someone you love is in need, please call JFCS directly at 415.449.3700. For more information on the #PJKindness program, please contact Vivien Braly.


May 15, 2020


Vivien Braly