What to do Christmas Day? Volunteer in DC!


by Erica Steen, director of the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service at the Washington DCJCC

Volunteer on Christmas DayWhat’s a nice Jewish girl to do at 6am on Christmas Eve morning you ask? Or 5:00am which is when my eye lids actually opened? It is literally 24 hours before my largest event. Tomorrow at this time I will already be at the Washington DCJCC. Santa won’t have even made it there yet (he shows up at 7:45). Anyway, my brain won’t shut off, so blogging to you all it is! Of course this won’t be posted until later this morning but I promise, it’s early, even for me on Christmas Eve.

Do you have any idea what I am blabbing about? If not, it is one of the best days of the year, and I am Jewish and don’t celebrate Christmas in the traditional sense. At the Washington DCJCC, we in the Community Service Department, put on the most amazing Day of Service you have ever seen. 1000 volunteers, 60 social service agencies, 80+ volunteer projects, we really make a difference in the lives of DC social service staff and their low-income/homeless clients. We cook, serve, paint, visit and put on the best darn Christmas parties you’ve been to.

So if you are considering the traditional Chinese food and a movie or even opening presents from Santa allllll day, consider changing your schedule and adding in a volunteer project (1-4 hours of your day). We know a lot of home-bound seniors who would like your company for an hour or some homeless men that just for a bit want to forget they are homeless. Come, help them out, help us out and spread a little holiday cheer.

Registration  is open today until Noon but feel free to walk in tomorrow (between 8am and Noon), we may still have a few of our 1000 spots left for you to join in on.

So back to the original question, what is a nice Jewish girl to do at 6am on Christmas eve? A lot, that is the answer. If the stores can open at 4am on Black Friday, why not on Christmas Eve? Staples opens at 8am and the bank and Target at 9am so I might as well get myself going and if I time it right I might get to Costco at 10am right when they open the door. If I thought I’d have time later to write I’d tell you how this Jewish girl deals with only 3 hours of sleep while working a 15 hour day, but, I think I’m going to be a little busy.

See you tomorrow! Happy Holidays, whatever and however you celebrate.

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