Pedaling to Success – One Bar Mitzvah Boy's Great Initiative
Nov 15, 2012
Liam Serota of Riverdale, NY recently strapped on his bike helmet and rode his own bike-a-thon for ALEH. Liam explained to us his fantastic project and how it made his Bar Mitzvah so meaningful.
Dov: Hi Liam! Firstly, thank you so much for choosing ALEH as your Bar Mitzvah project. How did you find out about ALEH?
Liam: When I was looking for a project I told my mom that I really wanted to do something for disabled kids and I also wanted to do something for Israel. My mom and I started searching the web and when we came to ALEH and saw how awesome the organization is, I knew I had found my project.
Dov: How long was your ride and who rode with you?
Liam: The ride was 61 miles. We set out from my house in Riverdale and rode to Rockland Lake and then back. I went with my dad and 2 friends. We had such an amazing time.
Dov: How did you raise awareness and contributions for your bike-a-thon?
Liam: On the advice of ALEH, I started a campaign through a website called Root Funding. Setting up the campaign was very easy and I really liked the fact that I had so much control over what was posted on my campaign (pictures, text, logos etc…). Once I had my campaign set up, I sent out an email to my family and friends letting them know my plans for the bike-a-thon and asked them to help me reach my goal of raising $2,500 for ALEH. I included a link to my campaign on Root Funding and my family and friends really responded generously – some contributed as a one-time donation and others pledged for each mile I rode.
Dov: Liam, I know that you exceeded your goal big time – tell us how much you raised and how it made you feel.
Liam: I was fortunate enough to raise over $6,600 and I felt great about it. The more money I was able to send to ALEH the more they can do to provide for their kids, so it was an amazing feeling to beat my goal and give ALEH such a nice contribution.
Dov: I know that you also made ALEH part of your celebration by giving out gifts from The ALEH Boutique. How did that work out?
Liam: Well…that was really my mom’s idea. When we were on the ALEH website we noticed that they have an online boutique. We were so amazed at all the beautiful items being sold, and knowing that everything was handmade by the disabled children themselves made everything all the more special. My mom then suggested that we give out items from the ALEH boutique at my Bar Mitzvah celebration. It worked out really well – everyone at my party was talking about the unique gifts they got.
Dov: Liam, thanks again! You really did make a huge difference in the lives of Israel’s severely disabled children. We look forward to meeting you when you come to Israel next.
Liam: Absolutely, Dov! Aside for meeting the kids and the staff, I can’t wait to see my name on the famous ALEH Bnei Mitzvah Tree! And one last thing: if there are any kids out there reading this – I want to tell you that doing your mitzvah project with ALEH is really an amazing experience that you’ll never forget!
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