2016-11-23 / Columns

Teens across the region choose causes to give back to the community

Regional Sh’lichim

Woodcrest AZA members (from left), Josh Pollack, Drew Pollack, Jacob Folbaum and Ben Fallick ‘Stand Up!’ for their cause. Woodcrest AZA members (from left), Josh Pollack, Drew Pollack, Jacob Folbaum and Ben Fallick ‘Stand Up!’ for their cause. Every fall, SJR and each of the chapters in the region choose Stand Up! causes to work with throughout the year. Stand Up! causes are BBYO’s way of giving back to the community to make it a better place to live in. A cause, such as poverty or a disease, is chosen by popular vote for a chapter or region to work on fixing or improving during the year. Efforts to make a difference for the cause are usually organized by the Shaliach (AZA) or Sh’licha (BBG) since they are vice presidents of this department.

Each chapter chooses its own cause, and it can be as general or specific as they chose. Neshef BBG is working on LGBTQ awareness. Dafna BBG chose a more general topic of world hunger and poverty. Similarly, Otzma AZA also chose a general cause—cancer.

Otzma President Ben Forsman said, “I’ve seen a lot of people directly or indirectly affected by cancer so it feels good to know we are fundraising and spreading awareness about an issue that is so prevalent in the lives of almost everyone.”

Recently, Woodcrest AZA sold t-shirts to raise money for their cause, breast cancer. The sale was extremely successful and raised $300 for charity. Woodcrest is also donating money from its annual pie sale, and are well on their way to making a difference in the lives of those stricken with this disease.

Like the chapters, the region chose a Stand Up! cause. There originally were many options that were voted on online and narrowed down to three choices: Education in third world countries, domestic violence, and bullying. At RLTI, SJR’s fall convention, small programs were presented for each of the three causes. After experiencing each, those present voted and chose bullying awareness as the regional Stand Up! cause.

There are three main ways to help with a Stand Up! cause. The first one is philanthropy. This is any form of raising money for a cause, such as a sale or asking for donations. Second, there is service. This is when members go out into the community and work to directly or indirectly help people who struggle with the problem. This can be an act like participating in a walk or going to a hospital to make the people there feel less lonely. The last way is advocacy. At events, chapters can hold programs that directly teach members about the cause, why it is important to find a solution, and how they can help.

No cause is ever completely or nearly solved by the end of a year. However, every little act can make a difference. It is why causes are chosen each year and why each chapter and region makes an effort to make a difference. 

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