By volunteering at a soup kitchen, I know I’m helping people’s lives. 

How I pulled off a charity bake sale in only four days. 

A friendly neighborhood and enthusiastic volunteers made sick children smile wide during a Chai Lifeline Shabbaton.  

A teen turns illness into an incentive to raise money for medical research. 

Last summer I challenged myself to participate in an event that would test me physically and psychologically. The road ahead was going to be long, the training would be difficult and the finish line seemed beyond the horizon.

I stood there feeling very awkward selling T-shirts and greeting cards at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, N.J. I found myself surrounded by a lot of children with bald heads or sitting in wheelchairs. After a short while I realized all of the people here and their families are just like me and my family. All of the families just want a normal afternoon where they can forget their struggles.

Standing around over an open patch of dirt, the junior boys are waiting to get instructions from Rob, the gardener. Fourteen white circles are drawn in the dirt, showing them where they are going to plant. Then one at a time the boys take a shovel and start to dig a hole large enough for a plant. Each person digs for a little bit and then someone else rotates in. Sweat drips down their foreheads as they dig these holes on a warm day in May. When all 14 holes were finally finished they placed the plants in the holes and filled in the remaining dirt.

Fingers texting on a keyboard.

By responding to a text one teen's life is forever changed.