Community Chest South Shore’s Youth Board, made up of high school students, who help with the group’s events and is looking for members. Community Chest is also sponsoring a night of volunteerism with David Sussman at Temple Beth El in Cedarhurst.
For the past 10 years Hewlett resident Jackie Kaminer has guided the Youth Board. “As a former teacher I love that it keeps me with kids,” she said, adding that it was a natural progression for her to lead the board as she and husband, Dr. Ron Kaminer, a dentist, roughly 17-year Chest members raised three children.
“I feel strongly about my own kids wanting to teach them to be responsible and to help out. I guess I really like what they do for Community Chest, its multi-generational and thy make me — make me cool, I know what’s going on.”
Community Chest aims to help other organizations, institutions and people. Chest raises money through donations and its two big events the 5K Run and Family Walk that was held on Sept. 1 and the Neighbors Helping Neighbors fundraising dinner, typically in November.
Kaminer recruits and organizes teenagers from the Five Towns Public and private high schools. She said that the kids can fit this into their busy schedules and earn those coveted community service hours needed for college applications.
“To see kids actually feel the pride of being philanthropic at a young age,” Kaminer said what she likes to see. “They told me it sets them up for a future of giving back to their community or money or time.” She said she loves the letters from former members that recall the experience and its impact on them.
Hannah Levine, a Youth Board member since her freshman year at the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School, is now a senior. The Woodmere resident was vice president last year and is president this year.
“My school requires community service hours and everyone in my grade (ninth then) was so nervous about it,” she said. “Jackie is my mom’s friend and originally it was just to check a box. It’s honestly amazing and so nice. There are not so many things you could do to help to this extreme. This really helps and just giving back to the community is amazing.”
Kaminer’s recruiting pitch includes telling the students to trust her and how much you will feel good about yourself being involved. “My meetings and programs keep them together and they get to meet and know kids who live in the same community,” she said, pointing to two young men who attended different high schools and became college roommates.
Levine said she loves the camaraderie. “One time we were doing the letters for the dinner and the people that stayed after meeting we were just talking, it was just us playing music,” she said. “It just doesn’t seems like community service it seems like an activity.”
The Night of Volunteerism with Sussman, a former Israel Defense Forces soldier, is at Temple Beth El, 46 Locust Ave. in Cedarhurst at 7 p.m. “I hope to create a space for people to reflect on the power of community and how by creating a web where we are all truly interconnected we become stronger,” he said.
To RSVP, call (516) 374-5800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For the Youth Board, same number or email office@ communitychestss.org.