NAME: Josiah Tarrant

TOWN:  Westport, CT

B'NAI MITZVAH DATE:  October 19, 2013

TORAH PORTION:  Va'eira

DESCRIPTION:  This year in honor of my bar mitzvah I challenged myself to raise as much money as possible for Worldwide Orphans Foundation.  Worldwide Orphans Foundation is an organization that was founded by Dr. Jane Aronson.  I have come to know Dr. Jane very well and I really look up to her as someone who helps so many children around the world.  In September 2012, the first thing I did was ask for donations to WWO instead of gifts for my birthday.  So many people were very generous. 

Over last Christmas break I was lucky enough to visit Ethiopia for the second time with my family.  Dr. Jane made it so I could visit the WWO Academy and Des’ Village, an orphanage for HIV-positive kids, in Addis Ababa.  I was very moved by all of the smiling faces and what WWO is doing for so many families affected by HIV.  I was really impressed by all of the amazing people I met who work with the kids there and who do so much to help.  It was really great to see how all my donations so far have helped the families in Ethiopia.

 

I came home determined to help WWO more.  The next thing I did was I baked a ton of cookies and had a lemonade and cookie sale during the Memorial Day parade that goes right by my house.  My brother and cousins and I raised $327 for WWO!  That still wasn’t enough.

For my main bar mitzvah project I decided to swim the 35th Annual Compo Beach Point-to-Point, a 1-mile open water race in the sound, and to ask for sponsors who would donate to WWO.  I had never done an open water race before, but on July 20th I swam it and because of so many generous friends and family members I was able to raise $2420 for WWO.