For the past six years, Fishers resident Amy Crell has organized the Sharing and Caring program with her group, Sisterhood, at Congregation Beth-El Zedeck at 600 W. 70th St. in Indianapolis.
The Sharing and Caring program partners with Jewish Family Services of Indianapolis by adopting a family through Jewish Family Services’ Hanukkah Adopt-A-Family program. Crell said the program served 77 families with the help of 819 community members in 2021. The Hanukkah Adopt-A-Family program is a communitywide initiative that helps local Jewish households during the Hanukkah festival.
In previous years, Crell said Sisterhood adopts one family to “help brighten their Hanukkah,” which is celebrated Dec. 18 through Dec. 26 this year.
“Gift requests range from clothing, shoes, socks, toys, cleaning supplies, toiletries and gift cards,” Crell said. “Our wonderful Sisterhood members always rise to the occasion and fulfill all requested needs. In 2021, we provided 72 gifts to a single mother and her two daughters.”
Crell said she is drawn to the cause because she has a passion for giving back to the community.
“As the volunteer coordinator for the City of Fishers I am passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community,” Crell said. “Being involved with Sisterhood and helping with the Caring and Sharing program has been very filling and rewarding.”
Crell said Judaism teaches that charitable donors benefit as much as recipients.
“The Hebrew word for charity is tzedakah, which actually means ‘justice’ or ‘righteousness,’” Crell said. “Judaism teaches the belief that donors benefit from tzedakah as much or more than the recipients. Adopting a family for the holidays is an incredible way to reach a lot of people all at once. Not only will an entire family in need be touched from receiving generous gifts, but your own family members will see firsthand the joy of giving and what it looks like to be involved in your community.”