Grinspoon Launches Tzedakah Box Project

Landon Derikrava of Greenwich, CT enjoying his box. Photo courtesy PJ Library.
Landon Derikrava of Greenwich, CT enjoying his box. Photo courtesy PJ Library.

This holiday season, a philanthropist best known for giving out free books to children is mailing a quarter of a million tzedakah boxes to the same children – and more – to encourage and spread the spirit of generosity and giving.

Harold Grinspoon launched the project at the holiday season because it is a time when families of different faiths try to teach their children about charity, fairness and justice.

“Generosity of spirit is a learned trait, taught to children by their families and their communities and, if taught well, benefits those communities for generations,” said Grinspoon, the founder of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and its flagship PJ Library program.

“These boxes are a Chanukah gift to families with young children who are already nurturing the spirit of charity, and an opportunity for those same families to spread that light into the world, for years to come,” Grinspoon said.

The colorful, kid-friendly tzedakah boxes are a project of PJ Library, which distributes children’s books and literature focusing on Jewish stories, customs and values around the world in partnership with local Jewish organizations. More than six million books have been distributed since the program’s inception in 2005.

Inside each tzedakah box are four different card games reinforcing the principles of giving to others in need. Some of their messages include, “Donate books you no longer read,” “Say sorry for mistakes,” and “Don’t use more water than you need.”

The tzedakah box project includes a robust social media campaign to spread the word about the boxes and the values they represent. Participants are encouraged to share photographs, stories and lessons #kidsgive.