Aviva Schwartz, Nivonim 2008, is a multi-tasker when it comes to doing Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. She simultaneously serves as a Big Sister to a second grader, volunteers with Unified Partners, works with individual children, and studies for class, all while getting ready for camp this summer. In advance of the summer, Aviva is finding new ways for campers and staff members to be involved in repairing the world! Yasher Koah Aviva and welcome back to Tzevvet 2012.
Clark University might not know the phrase Tikun Olam, but it certainly encourages its students to focus on repairing the world, especially the world right around the university in Worcester, Massachusetts. Since I began at Clark in August 2011, I have become involved with several Tikun Olam opportunities. I am the big sister in Big Brothers Big Sisters of a second grade boy named Jadier. We meet every week to play games and work on his homework. Throughout the year we have become increasingly close as our relationship grows stronger. I also participate in Unified Partners through Special Olympics where we are paired with a child or young adult with physical or developmental disabilities. My most recent project was an interfaith alternative spring break stay-cation. In this program, we volunteered in various locations during the day and had discussions in the evenings. The idea was to give back to the community in which we are spending these crucial four years of our lives. We helped at food pantries, rehabilitation centers, Habitat for Humanity programs, and other local non-profit organizations. This program was designed to connect students from different backgrounds, allowing us to realize that each of our religions and spiritual backgrounds stresses the importance of service and Tikun Olam. This was a different lens than previous volunteer opportunities in which I have engaged. New service opportunities are now available to me along with meaningful relationships with students of other faiths.