CAR IN G
Special to the Jewish News
Awards of 900 men,
women and children made
Christmas Day a little
merrier for others by tak-
ing part in the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit's annual
Mitzvah Day, A Volunteer
Arriving as early as 7:15 a.m. on
Dec. 25, the volunteers checked in
and had breakfast at the Max M.
Fisher Building in Bloomfield
Township before carpooling to their
Related editorial: page 21
assignments. Their missions? Give
non-Jewish social service workers
some time off at Christmas or
brighten the holiday for clients.
Alaine Waldshan of Federation's
Community Outreach and
Education Department, which
organizes Mitzvah Day, said 740
adults and 150 children were
assigned to 33 different agencies
She said the number of volunteers
in the program has been going up
since Sept. 11. Close to 800 people
participated after the 2001 terrorist
events, but only 500 the year
before. For 1999, a toy-and-food
drive was held when Christmas Day
fell on Shabbat.
The need for volunteers also is
"Vista Maria in Detroit wanted
70 volunteers this year. In the past,
they asked for 10 helpers,"
Holiday Meals on Wheels
requested a record 200 volunteers to
deliver meals at various sites and
Mitzvah Day organizers were able
to send out "60 carloads" of helpers.
On the snowy morning of Dec.
25, Mitzvah Day co-chair Robin
Schwartz of Birmingham — Beth
Radner of Huntington Woods was
the other chair — launched a group
of volunteers, saying: "Drive care-
fully and have a great day."
The Tarnows of West Bloomfield