Turkey Time for Thoughtful Thursdays

As Thanksgiving approaches, our Thoughtful Thursdays turkey project returns with a goal to provide a 12- to 14-pound turkey to each of our Brightpoint Head Start families, along with a roasting pan and cooking instructions.

This holiday social action program grew out of our efforts to give away turkeys through a drawing for the families. In 2018, a Temple member who wished to remain anonymous paid for 35 turkeys, hoping to inspire others to support the effort. We raised enough money to provide a turkey for each of our families and their teachers - and have continued the tradition since then.
Again this year, we are seeking donations of $18 each through Wednesday, November 25 to help us purchase enough turkeys for all the families and teachers. Please make your check payable to “CAV-The Temple,” indicate that your donation is for turkeys, and send it to the Temple at 5200 Old Mill Road, Fort Wayne, IN  46807. Thank you!

We also welcome volunteers to shop for grocery items for the monthly Thoughtful Thursdays bags. Please contact Sally Trotter at office@templecav.org if you can help.

Remember, hunger doesn’t stop because there is a virus or because a building is closed. 

What is Thoughtful Thursdays?
The Jewish community is actively working to make a difference in the lives of 72 children who are enrolled in the Brightpoint Head Start program  through Thoughtful Thursdays, which provides monthly or twice-monthly bags with groceries and educational items. The bags are sent home with the students on a Thursday to be returned the following Monday to be refilled.

The Temple works In partnership with the Jewish Federation of Fort Wayne. The program began in October 2010. Our Co-Chairs are Sally Trotter, Jamie Berger, and Bonnie Pomerantz.

We've hosted gatherings of volunteers and Head Start parents in December to get better acquainted and even had a drawing to give away a turkey and trimmings for a holiday meal. Our annual Apple Project during the High Holy Days has assisted in raising funds to purchase fresh apples for the families, who may not always have access for money to purchase fresh produce. Occasionally during the year, we send home rotisserie chickens, fresh vegetables or fruit, or "themed" bags for the families. Other volunteers translate educational materials into Spanish to assist the Head Start families who may have limited English.

We appreciate monetary or food donations toward this program.

Year-round, we need donations of canned fruit in its own juice, canned chicken, canned tuna and paper products (paper towels, napkins, toilet paper). During the winter months, we collect boxes of tissues. If you prefer to let us do the shopping, monetary donations may be made to "CAV-The Temple," with Thoughtful Thursdays written on the memo line. Thank you.

We are a 2013 winner of the Irving J. Fain Social Action Award from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.

Calling Thoughtful Thursdays an "outstanding initiative," the Fain Award Committee said they were inspired by the sense of community responsibility demonstrated by the program. They plan to highlight the award over the next two years to "serve as an inspiration to the greater Reform community and encourage others in our Movement to undertake similar initiatives." They noted "the work of tikkun olam is our common endeavor, and that work merits respect and appreciation."

Congratulations to the Jewish community's Thoughtful Thursdays Committee chaired by Jamie Berger! Thank you to members of Achduth Vesholom, B'nai Jacob and the Fort Wayne Jewish Federation for their efforts, along with the Girl Scouts, key clubs, local businesses and college students who assist. We also appreciate our financial supporters, including the Dr. Harry W. Salon Foundation, individuals and groups.

Read about Thoughtful Thursdays in Insight Fort Wayne.

Bag Assembly Dates 2020-2021

We would love to have your help preparing bags for Thoughtful Thursdays, which are distributed to the 72 students at Brightpoint Head Start in our building. Ways to help:

  • Donate non-perishable food items or toiletries.
  • Assist with educational items (check with Thoughtful Thursdays Committee Chair Jamie Berger to find out what is needed)
  • Donate financially
  • Help us assemble bags 
All are welcome to join us in assembling Thoughtful Thursdays bags for the 2020-2021 school year.  Please check back for more information. 
Thoughtful Thursdays Apple Project
Many of our Brightpoint Head Start children who attend class at the Temple rarely have the opportunity to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. During the High Holidays for a 10th year, we will raise funds to provide each of our Head Start families with a bag of delicious Honeycrisp apples from a local orchard.

This mitzvah is a wonderful way to prepare for the High Holy Days season!  A tree will be on display at the Temple that will be decorated with paper apples featuring the name of each person who donates $10 or more for the apple project by Wednesday, September 23. (Checks may be made out to “CAV-The Temple” earmarked for the Thoughtful Thursdays Apple Project).

Other seasonal fundraisers include our turkey project for Thanksgiving and our drive to provide winter hats and gloves for the children.