If you only volunteer once a year, why not make it on Mitzvah Day in Port Phillip on Sunday 18 November. This grass-roots, Jewish-led day of social action has exploded in popularity, with 45 groups registered locally so far for this year. Group members will complete charity projects which benefit the Port Phillip and wider community. Mitzvah translates to ‘good deeds’, a message at the heart of this international initiative. The City of Port Phillip has supported this day locally through its 2018-19 Community Grants Program, with applications sought again from 18 February 2019. Mitzvah Day organiser Kerryn Lowe said the annual event is growing in Port Phillip. “It’s a great way for groups and individuals to call on friends and work on projects that help the community. This is a chance to offer your time, rather than just money,” she said. “Previously, local schools have shown great support, arranging projects such as sing-a-longs for aged care residents. Other projects have included clean-ups at St Kilda beach. “Mitzvah Day offers a pathway to volunteering, with many continuing to give back throughout the year.” One success story has been Floral Acts of Kindness Inc., a project involving the arrangement and wrapping of floral bouquets, which are handed out to local aged care residents. Organised by co-founder Dr Isabelle de Solier, 55 volunteers have helped over the past two years, preparing 250 bouquets. The volunteers will continue their great work this year. Mayor Bernadene Voss said there are countless ways to contribute. “There is a project for all demographics, affiliations, abilities and interests. Projects are limited only by your imagination,” Cr Voss said. “For inspiration, why not consider organising a collect-a-thon, cook-a-thon, park and beach cleanup, visit the sick or elderly, or join an existing activity?” Enquire now and help Mitzvah Day become one of the major community events in Port Phillip. To register your interest, or for more information, visit www.mitzvahday.org.au Image: Preparing bouquets are Yvette Timmins (left) and Dr Isabelle de Solier.