Mitzvah day participants adorned blankets for special recipients from infants to the elderly thorugh Jewish and Family Services. James Sabo of Matawan, below, was one of many volunteers who donated blood.

Press release from the Monmouth Reform Temple

Premature babies born at Riverview Medical Center will have cozy homemade knit caps to wear, thanks to a set of volunteers who knitted them during the annual Mitzvah Day held at Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT), Tinton Falls, on Sunday October 29.

Mitzvah Day is a day to “make a difference” in the community, says Rabbi Marc Kline. “The work of Mitzvah Day is not a one and done set of projects. Our congregation is committed to many projects of Tikkun Olam (healing the world) throughout the year.

But the day set aside to helping others is a great kickoff to the entire year, says Temple Member Dean Ross, who co-chaired the event with Kerry Krachman. During Mitzvah Day, members of the congregation, joined by participants from Congregation B’nai Israel. Rumson, and other community members, engaged in a variety of service and social action projects at locations throughout the community such as The Center in Asbury Park and MRT itself.

A group of religious school students and their parents, led by Cantor Gabrielle Clissold, sang at The Chelsea Assisted Living Center in Tinton Falls. Another set of volunteers filled bags of toiletries and unpacked socks and shampoo at Holiday Express Warehouse Organization in Tinton Falls. At MRT, people created blankets for donation for the sick, wrote greetings cards to ill temple members, decorated shopping bags to use for food collected for those in need, and maintenance of the Gan Mazon Garden, which sends tons of fresh vegetables each year to local pantries.

The Central Jersey Bloodmobile parked outside the temple during the day. As a result of Mitzvah Day, 66 patients in hospitals in Monmouth and Ocean County received blood. MRT also collected used coats, eyeglasses and cell phones for distribution throughout the community.

For more information contact: Monmouth Reform Temple, www.monmouthreformtemple.org, 732-747-9365.