The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.
-Richard Bach

There’s a logic behind happiness that is a true blessing: People who are happy make other people happy, too. And like anything else, happiness may not come naturally to everyone. You must learn ways to be joyful, and nurture them in order to thrive. Here are some tips for finding your happy place in life:

  • Connect with friends from school: Revisit some of the things you enjoyed before life got complicated! Facebook works, but face-to-face works better.
  • Do something on your bucket list: It may be too cold to plant flowers and okra, but you can study a new language, take an online class, or join a community theater troupe.
  • Identify a goal: Make a plan to attain something meaningful and significant that may take years to accomplish, and start on your action plan today.
  • Move: No, you don’t need to relocate; you need to move your body. Physical activity has emotional and mental benefits, so do something that will let your endorphins take you to the happy place!
  • Read your favorite book: What stories did you enjoy when you were ten years old? 17 years old? Locate those old friends and reminisce with them to recapture that other time and place.
  • Seek beauty: Chicagoland has countless museums appealing to any interests and the Chicago Botanic Garden is open year-round.
  • Travel: Even if you can’t afford a getaway to Miami or Cancun, you can explore your own backyard around Illinois.
  • Write a letter – to yourself: Explain to yourself how you’ve grown and how much you’ve accomplished.

Be a Blessing

Volunteering and charitable donations from people like you is how Maot Chitim survives. As Purim approaches, we think about those who are less fortunate. We will help them celebrate this traditional Jewish festival with dignity. It’s also another way to find your happy place: Charitable donations can lead to better physical and mental health! As you count your blessings, remember that donating and volunteering during the holidays are especially needed. Please contact us or visit our website for more information on opportunities to give back.

Keeping physically warm in winter is one thing but staying warm inside is something else entirely. It’s that warm feeling you get when you do something good for someone and it’s one way anyone can stay warm in winter.

1 out of 7 people are food insecure and 1 million homes in Illinois are on food stamps. There are hungry people throughout the entire city of Chicago that are just struggling day to day and their needs increase when it’s cold and winter stretches ahead. At Passover and other holidays it’s particularly difficult for the needy in the Jewish community to uphold traditions with dignity, unless they have some help.

Maot Chitim is a charity that assists needy members of the Greater Chicagoland Jewish community during Passover and High Holiday. Since 1908 the charity has provided food donations to help individuals and families to observe the holiday with dignity and keep the traditions in their daily lives.

There are hundreds of volunteers of all ages who help in the warehouse and deliver boxes feeding close to 12,000 people each holiday. Volunteers say how satisfying it is to do something for the Jewish community and how, when you drop a box off at someone’s home and they welcome you with a big smile it sets the whole tone for Passover. All members of a family often help out and parents say it’s very important for their children to see what it’s like to give back.

Volunteers also help with the making up of boxes and packing them and they start this work about three weeks before a holiday. It is only achievable through dedication and teamwork. As a volunteer you will be made most welcome. Why not join the team and experience for yourself the warmth these volunteers feel inside when they give up their time and receive such gratitude and thanks in return.

There are other ways of helping out too, such as donating to Maot Chitim. You can donate cash or with a credit card or check. It’s really easy and any amount will be much appreciated.

Leaving a legacy is a fantastic gift that would ensure a tradition of service to be passed down from generation to generation. Imagine how good that would make you feel, knowing you had created your Jewish legacy and helped to keep the strong Jewish values alive for future families and individuals.

Maot Chitim always need more people to assist and donate because, as a charity, everything they do is based on donations, so step up and volunteer. Stay warm inside in winter and you may find you get back more than you give.