Tuesday marks the 12th annual Good Deeds Day event, which takes place throughout the country with this year’s event expected to have 2 million volunteers participating in over 14,000 projects throughout the country – the largest number of volunteers and projects to date.
The main goal of Tuesday’s nationwide event is to build stronger communities through getting people to take their first step towards making volunteering part of their daily lives.
Good Deeds Day started in Israel in 2007 and has grown into an annual international day of volunteering in which 93 countries are scheduled to participate in both local and national activities that benefit their communities and the environment which will take place on April 15th.
Israel always has its Good Deeds Day on a Tuesday while the rest of the world has theirs on a Sunday. Due to the Passover and Easter Holidays taking place around the set date of April 15, the Israeli organizers chose to have the date on March 13.
According to the event’s international website, organizers are anticipating some one million volunteers working with 2,000 volunteer projects in hundreds of cities and towns all over the world.
Good Deeds Day is one of the main projects of the Ruach Tova (Good spirit) organization which is responsible for connecting individuals with volunteer programs throughout Israel.
Kaynan Rabino is one of the founders and leaders of this event.
Rabino told The Jerusalem Post that he has “the job of my dreams, I get to wake up every day and ask myself ‘how can I do good?’”
Rabino also explained that the vision of this event includes “a lot of ‘awareness’ days, Good Deeds Day is different in that we are empowering our participants to take that next step and become positive influences in their communities.”
Despite this being a day centered around volunteer work, Rabino explained that the reason why it’s called Good Deeds Day and not “volunteer day” is because “we want regular people who don’t actively volunteer to find out for themselves what they believe is considered [to be] a ‘good deed.’”
“It’s important to have this day be as open and inclusive as possible; whether it’s helping a neighbor, helping an elderly woman carrying her groceries, even something as simple as a smile – through simple acts like these we will bring more people into the circle of volunteering. Anything that has a positive effect will lead to more good deeds in the future,” he said.
This approach seems to be working as every year the number of participants continues to increase, Compared to last year, the number of participants jumped from 1.3 million to 2 million.
Prior to his work with Ruach Tova, Rabino worked as a social worker where he opened a halfway house for at-risk girls.
His time in Ruach Tova helped to bring Good Deeds Day to life.
Noting the significance Jerusalem holds for Tuesday’s events, Rabino reports that some 80,000 volunteers will participate in events all over the city.
“Jerusalem is a great example of the potential Good Deeds Day holds. We know how special Jerusalem is and it’s a great example and a true microcosm of Israel,” Rabino said. “We will have volunteers participating in east and west Jerusalem, with events also taking place in Arabic.”
He highlighted that “every sector of Jerusalem’s population will be contributing with good deeds: Haredim, seculars, national religious – everyone will be volunteering together in education, a local clean-up action, painting murals, we have all kinds of things planned for Tuesday.”
Ahead of the event, Rabino shared his hope for what Good Deeds Day could become:
“This is how you build a society and awareness – [a] simple act of kindness is how things improve. People tend to forget that we have more in common than we differences and hopefully through working together for the good of our communities and planet we can grow together.”