When twelve year old Alex Levine, a seventh grader at Northwood Junior High, is not stretching his muscles with a deep interest for mixed martial arts, wrestling, and hockey or relaxing on his computer, he can be found outside in his community, creating his own Mitzvah projects. Shortly after learning about Gift of Life’s “Finding the Hero in You at Camp program”, an initiative that allows young individuals to practice tikkun olam and pikuach nefesh through helping save lives, Alex was determined to hold a drive at his camp. For the past two weeks, Alex has been selling donuts throughout his hometown of Highland Park, Illinois. His hard work has allowed him to raise $500.00, which will be used to process kits from a drive he is organizing at B’nai B’rith Beber Camp in Mukwonago, WI, that will take place on June 12th.
Selling donuts for such a great cause allowed Alex to build better relations with his community and became a bonding experience for his family. “This project would have been hard to complete without the help of my family,” he said. Puzzled by the question of what to do for one of three Bar Mitzvah projects that his temple requires for prospective Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, family-friend Marra Gad suggested that he host a fundraiser to benefit Gift of Life. As someone who has been affected by cancer and who holds the cause close to his heart, Alex knew this would be the perfect Mitzvah project. Alex said,” Cancer has been something that has hit me closely, so anything I can do to help the cause, I definitely will.” His grandfather has survived two bouts of lymphoma and recently was able to have his port removed, which marked a huge milestone. Alex has been his grandfather’s biggest supporter, celebrating his grandfather’s victory at annual walks for lymphoma awareness.
Aside from soliciting funds and raising awareness about Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, organizing fundraisers and donor drives have other lessons in store for young people. For Alex, learning how to effectively reach out to his community was a bit challenging at first. “Just getting it started, first it was hard to advertise because I didn’t want to seem pushy and like I was begging,” he said. Though after figuring out how to properly frame the event, Alex was able to get the message across and build interests through social media marketing. “It’s pretty easy if you use social media, definitely a good tool if you take advantage of it,” he said Alex. Alex strongly supports Gift of Life and encourages other youths to center their community projects on Gift of Life’s mission.
Young people sometimes feel that their actions cannot make an impact on society. Alex says, “Being a single individual, it doesn’t seem like you can do so much.” Though, this experience has helped him to realize that he can be a pivotal figure for his generation. “It made me feel more confident that I could make a difference in the world,” exerted Alex. Alex looks forwards to sharing his passion to save lives with his campmates this summer. If you are interested in organizing a drive or setting up a fundraiser, please contact our recruitment team at firstname.lastname@example.org.