Gideon Hausner students pitch in to help the homeless

Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto recently held its fifth annual community service day, focusing on people who are homeless on the Peninsula.

Second-graders baked desserts for the Thanksgiving meals provided by the Urban Ministry Food Closet in Palo Alto. Fifth-graders collected gently used coats and healthy snacks, which they delivered to the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto. And together, kindergarten and seventh-grade students packed bags of donated socks for Sunnyvale Com-munity Services.

Third-graders Hannah Levitt (left) and Noya Zamir with packages for people in need photo/gideon hausner jewish day school

The fourth-graders made blankets and counted the money raised by Hausner’s Change for Change Drive — $2,500, enabling My New Red Shoes, which provides shoes and clothing to homeless and low-income children, to help 50 children.

Three grades focused on Haven Family House in Menlo Park. First- and third-graders collected and packaged toiletries and school supplies for the homeless shelter, and eighth-graders volunteered there.

The Nov. 16 event included an array of learning opportunities. Second-graders spent time with two volunteers from Downtown Streets Team in Palo Alto to learn about the challenges that homeless people face. And middle-school students heard testimony on the meaning of community service from My-Dung Tran, the director of operations and volunteers at Sunnyvale Community Services.

The day ended with a Kabbalat Shabbat assembly at which students shared their reflections on the meaning of the day and placed a brick representing the volunteer work they had done.