On Thursday, March 1 the J celebrated Purim with Wish for Wheels and Mercy Housing, Inc. to assemble and distribute bikes to low-income families.
Over forty employees from the JCC team came together to build 25 bikes that were donated to the Mercy Housing, Inc. families. Mercy Housing is the nation’s largest affordable housing nonprofit and with Denver as their base, they want to make sure every child has access to a healthy lifestyle. Thanks to the partnering of Wish for Wheels, Mercy Housing, and J Denver, all MHI kids in the Denver Metro area have received a bike. Wahoo! That’s what we call a successful Purim.
How exactly did this Wish for Wheels shindig go down? Well, it’s pretty cool! Businesses hire Wish for Wheels and employees do a team building activity to assemble them so they’re ready to go for the kids. For our fun team event at the J, employees were timed and competed against one another to see who could build their bike the fastest. Let’s just say it was an absolute chaotic blast. Jeff Hoffman (Graphic Design Guru) and Clay Jacobs (Assistant Aquatics Manager) beat out the competition–they built their bike in 43 seconds! Way to go, guys.
We also had a delightful costume contest (because what’s Purim without silly costumes?)–we’re talkin’ Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, Trolls, chickens, Dr. Seuss characters, and JCC Maccabi Curlers (yours truly, the Marketing Department, came up with this idea–and we won best costume)! There’s nothing better than dressing up, making mishloach manot bags, and taking part in a fun community event.
We feel that this particular celebration of Purim highlighted the values that we hold near and dear at the J. Without our community, we’d cease to exist, and we believe that it’s vital to give back to and support those who need it most. We have always been a facility built on the foundation of philanthropy and we’re thankful to have had this opportunity to live and breathe the Purim philosophy of, “mattanot le-evyonim”–giving to those in need. We had so much fun collaborating with our peers and helping children in our community.
We are thankful to our fantastic community partners, including Michael Staenberg and The Staenberg Group for funding this project and for making it all possible. We were able to express our Jewish values, celebrate with friends, and change the lives of Denver youth. Does it get any better than that?