Over 800 locals came together to give their time to charity on Sunday 18 November, for Mitzvah Day.Mitzvah Day is an international movement bringing thousands of people together, to give their time, not their money, to make a difference in the communities around them. Local NGO, Mensch, was invited by the event’s UK founders to host this day locally.Underpinned by the Jewish principle of a “mitzvah” – an act of kindness – there were over 29 projects activated with 850 volunteers giving of their time to serve 2500 people. Gina Flash, executive director of Mensch, explains: “The Mensch Mitzvah Day is a day of social action; we get out of our heads and serve from our hearts. We break through the uncomfortable and sometimes paralysing feelings of wanting to help but just not knowing how. “Mitzvah Day is not just about helping vulnerable people, but a way for people to work side by side and ultimately create lasting connections with each other through these newly activated projects.” Projects ranged from a group of friends donating blood at the Western Cape Blood Transfusion Service to a youth interfaith group; from cooking nourishing vegetable soup for a homeless shelter in Elsies River, to an inner-city beautification project. Temple Israel Cape Town took congregants to work at the Umthunzi Farming Community where volunteers worked in one of the Umthunzi gardens in Gugulethu, planting and harvesting organic vegetables. The temple helped raise awareness of this community and has grown the number of regular customers buying their super fresh veggie boxes. Fives Futbol gifted their fives football courts on the rooftop of Grand Central in Cape Town, to NGO Souper Troopers for a soccer tournament for their homeless beneficiaries.Shine Literacy was the recipient of over 200 gently used books collected by Herzlia’s Kerem Pre-primary School pupils. The Sunshine for Seniors project arranged by the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Council) saw “gogos” from Ikamva Labantu spend the afternoon having fun decorating cupcakes with the “bobbas” from Highlands House, Cape Jewish Home for the Aged.