Over a thousand dollars were collected by FSU Jewish children and teenagers as part of FJC’s Mega Purim fundraiser conducted over the holiday in the region. The money, $1,290 in total, is being donated to the LifeChanger FSU project, where it will go towards medicine and rehabilitation for 11-year old Ilareon, one of LifeChanger’s participants, who has recently undergone heart surgery.
“We think it was important for the children to be a part of this large event for a good cause and feel that helping each other also their responsibility,” said Sarah Vernick, special projects coordinator at Darkeinu, which ran the fundraiser.
Mega Purim asked children up to 18 years of age to send in pictures of themselves in Purim costumes to the contest’s website. For every picture received, one dollar was transferred by the fundraiser’s sponsors to charity. Children from many countries across the FSU answered the call for action, with pictures sent in from Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Latvia and Estonia among the others.
Beside the individual fundraiser, Mega Purim also ran a picture contest for groups. Teams had to send in pictures of themselves in costumes performing a Purim activity- giving charity and presents, listening to the scroll of Ester or taking part in a festive meal. 217 teams from across the region participated, the winners receiving prizes in form of tickets to the movies or another local attraction. First place was claimed by ‘Or Avner’ school students from Bryansk, Russia, 2nd place by a team from Ryazan and 3rd place also by school students in Nikolayev, Ukraine.