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Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, Peoria, Ill. was able to celebrate its first Good Deeds Day, an international celebration of community service held on March 15, 2015.

The Sam J. Stone B’nai B’rith Covenant Apartments were partners in the day of giving, hosting a performance from Hindu dancers, according to an article in the Peoria Journal Star.

Read highlights from the event, including thoughts from Susan Katz, a board member at the B’nai B’rith Housing building:


“We wanted to mobilize people to give back to the community and to do good not just today, but every day,” said Susan Katz, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Peoria. “In Hebrew we have a word, ‘mitzvah,’ which means ‘good deed.’ It’s a very basic part of Judaism.”

More than 100 volunteers, including members of the Peoria federation, Hindu Temple of Central Illinois and First United Methodist Church, helped in 13 projects.Volunteers donated blood and bone marrow at Congregation Anshai Emeth in Peoria. 

The kick-off point doubled as a collection center for care bags going to the Center for Prevention of Abuse and United Methodist’s Fish and Loaves program for the homeless and disadvantaged.Good deeds stretched all over the city. That included Springdale Cemetery to paint offices, [Sam J. Stone B’nai B’rith Covenant Apartments] where Hindu Temple members performed Indian dances for residents, and Avalon Street to restore a veteran’s home.

“We really made it our objective to serve the community through a variety of events,” Katz said.