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The Rebbe places a coin in the large charity box at Lubavitch Wold Headquarters.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe set an example for how society can heal itself from within. Through nurturing the inherent goodness within everything and cultivating the latent empathy we all possess, we can change ourselves and the world around us for the better, ushering in an era of global peace and tranquility for all.

Tzedaka - charitable giving - is a constant theme in the Rebbe's teachings and became a campaign to educate everyone to become a giver.

The ARK Giving Project in El Paso is inspired by and a result of the Rebbe's clarion call to inspire humanity to greater moral and ethical heights through positive and consistent action. 

 

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Acts of Random Kindness > Acts of Routine Kindness

Creating a Stronger Culture through Giving

The philosophy:

  • People are more influenced by the things they do than by the knowledge they are taught.

  • Compassion and kindness are strengthened by consistency. Giving small amounts of charity every day causes one to become a giver.

  • Childhood is the prime time to cultivate compassion and kindness. Children also influence adults to do the same. This creates a stronger culture of giving in society.

  • Having a dedicated charity box to place money every day provides a visual reminder of the importance of giving.

  • Everyone is concerned about the increased polarization in our society which leads to intolerance and hatred that can have deadly consequences. In order to change the trajectory of the way things are going we need to nip hatred in the bud. Providing more opportunities for children to express compassion and kindness through consistent action is one way of combating hatred. When someone becomes a giver at a young age it’s impossible to hate others so blindly. See the "Helpful Links" below for more on this concept.

  • Giving charity every day has proven to generate a greater sense of compassion. Following is a testimony from a principal of a school that implemented ARK in 2019.

“Secondly, one of the high school boys was walking down the hall and he stopped me in my office and told me thank you for allowing the students to do the ARK project.  He then went on to tell me that even though he lives in Juarez, he doesn't spend much time thinking about the poor people there because the city is full of desolate people.  But, he told me that every time he put money in the ark, he felt like that was kind of like sitting alongside one of the migrants.” 

“He crosses the border daily with the fast pass and never truly realized the impact of so many other suffering people, until the project. He mentioned that so many students say that when they grow up and get a job or win the lottery- then they will give. He told me that he would keep the ark in his backpack to remind him that loose change can make a difference in the lives of others.”

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How ARK works in El Paso:

  • The El Paso Community Foundation started a program to bring this opportunity to every child in El Paso.

  • The school administration contacts the EPCF at [email protected] to make arrangements for an ARK launch assembly.

  • Every child is given their own personal charity holder (in the form of an ark) to collect coins at home. They are encouraged to place a coin in their ark every day. When it fills up, they should count the money and donate it to the poor or to a worthy organization of their choice.

  • Optional: Schools can choose to collect the monies of the ARKs and donate one large a mount to an organization chosen by the administration or by the student body through a vote. The EPCF can facilitate these collections and donations. Although the giving happens at home, ARK motivates classroom discussions and school projects about kindness.

  • Schools have chosen to incorporate ARK in year-long school-wide Kindness Projects.

  • Ideas include:

    • Writing assignments about ARK. School-wide or classroom based.

    • ARK Giving Board. Children post names of organizations they donated to (without mentioning amounts).

    • Kindness Tree.  Children bring notes stating acts of kindness they did the previous day and they are taped to  a large tree on the wall. (Primarily for younger children.) 

Helpful Links

Elevate El Paso: In-depth Interview about ARK

Project Webpage:  https://theclassroomfund.org/news/10-ark-project

Project Video:  http://bit.ly/ARKvideo

El Paso Times: El Paso is positioned to bring more light to our world

El Diario de El Paso: El Paso se posiciona para traer más luz al mundo

JTA: I’m a rabbi in El Paso. Here’s how our community has started to heal after the deadly shooting.

Associated Press: Rabbis urge teaching of empathy to counteract religious hate

Associated Press: Rabbis lean on leader's teachings at NY conference

AP Article in Spanish (El Diario): Elogian a nivel mundial proyecto de El Paso

Learn more about ARK here: https://www.changeourworldforgood.com

For more information on this project please contact Rabbi Levi Greenberg:

E. [email protected] C. 915-204-6580

 

A Project of Chabad Lubavitch of El Paso | 6615 Westwind Drive
915-584-8218 | www.chabadelpaso.com