‘Super Sunday’ kicks off fundraising at Jewish Community Campus

02/02/2014 3:18 PM

02/02/2014 7:35 PM

It was indeed a super Sunday at the Jewish Community Campus in Overland Park.

And it had nothing to do with football.

The kickoff (pun intended) of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City’s annual community outreach campaign involved dozens of volunteers and a variety of projects to benefit those in need.

The Super Sunday event is an annual fund-raising tradition, but this year’s event added a number of first-time activities that included everything from old-fashioned cookie baking to pledges of money for every social media posting with the hashtag #supersundaykc.

“This year we wanted to turn it into a friend-raising effort,” said Jane Martin, director of strategic marketing for the Jewish Federation.

As in past years, the Super Sunday effort involved volunteers calling community members to seek pledges.

“We have so many great people out there,” Martin said. “They know to pick up their phone on Super Sunday.”

But organizers wanted to find other ways to raise funds while giving others, including children, a chance to help.

“We tried to re-imagine the best use of the day,” said Jeremy Applebaum, co-chair of the Super Sunday event.

On Sunday, volunteers participated in three community-service projects. Besides baking 25 dozen cookies, others packed lunches that will go to middle and high school students in the Harvesters Give Lunch program.

Another group sorted donated items for the Jewish Family Service’s community food pantry, which serves about 200 families every month.

“It’s a great way to get kids involved,” said Julie Levine, who was supervising the baking project to benefit food pantry clients.

Walter Waxman of Overland Park was one of the young people among the more than 100 volunteers who showed up to lend a hand.

“We’re making lunches for middle school kids,” he said. “It’s good for the community. I’m enjoying it.”

Martin said that several generous donors, who wanted to remain anonymous, provided the money for two of the more creative fund-raising efforts Sunday.

One dollar was pledged for every social media post using the #supersundaykc hashtag, up to $500. Another donor promised that if that goal was reached, they would “double match” the amount up to $2,000.

Other donors pledged money so people working out Sunday at the campus would earn one dollar for every minute of exercise they completed.

The money raised by the federation goes to fund numerous programs that benefit people both locally and around the world.

Applebaum said the goal of the year-long campaign is raise $4.75 million, and Super Sunday’s events were a good official start.

“This is fantastic,” he said. “We’ve had a great turn-out.”

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