Stand Up participants raise $1400

In anticipation of their upcoming bat mitzvahs, Ellie Cohen and Maela Kornhauser decided to do something different. The girls recently participated in Jewish Aid Australia’s ‘Stand Up’ program for Bnei Mitzvah aged students and learnt about having an impact in their community, engaging with other cultures and changing the world through small acts of charity and kindness.

Inspired by the ‘Stand Up’ program, they decided to raise funds for Sudanese refugee children and their families by selling boxes of produce donated by shop owners at Prahran Market, many of who have known the girls since they were babies. The girls toured the market, explaining at every stall why they were requesting the produce and what they would do with the money raised.

Then it was delivery time. Fortunately it was raining and almost all the buyers were home when Ellie and Maela knocked on their doors. Some were still in their pajamas but all were delighted by the contents of their produce boxes. It took almost four hours to pack and deliver all the boxes, which were sold for $100 each.
Ellie said that “I really enjoyed making all that money and being able help people who really need it. It was also amazing to see how nice the people were at the market. Everyone we asked was happy to give.”

All the hard work paid off. Thanks to the generosity of the shopkeepers and buyers, Ellie and Maela managed to raise $1,400 for Sudanese children, just like the ones they had met two weeks earlier as part of the program.
Maela exclaimed that “the look on the people’s faces when they saw their boxes was indescribable. It was like Whoa, Thank you! They couldn’t believe what was inside. And they were even happier that the money they paid for their box was going to such a good cause.”

Jewish Aid’s six week ‘Stand Up’ program involves a commitment of several hours every Sunday to learn the principles of “Standing Up” for things you believe in and developing and applying strategies to implement change. As any activist knows, change often comes slowly and requires one action at a time. Ellie and Maela should be very proud of their first step.  These funds will go directly towards supporting Sudanese youth through homework support and holiday programs.The girls are great role models for other youth who are keen to make a difference in the world.

Click here to find out more about the Stand up program.