Baltimore, MD - Mar. 9, 2017 - In an amazing display of organizational efficiency, tenacity and dedication, the eight members of Bais Yaakov Middle School’s Dolphin Club solicited 127 prizes from individuals and Baltimore businesses for its 4th Annual ‘Catch a Smile’ Chinese Auction to benefit the Lev Lalev Orphanage and Children’s Home in Netanya, Israel. The girls’ hard work was rewarded with a super successful event on Sunday, February 26, 2017 that brought in $3,000 to directly assist the orphaned and disadvantaged girls, ages 6 to 18, who live at Lev LaLev.   

True to its Dolphin Club mission, the Chinese Auction was a genuine ‘By Kidz 4 Kidz’ event from start to finish. The eight members of this year’s Dolphin Club brainstormed, planned, organized and implemented every aspect of the auction with mentoring from the Club’s Director, Mrs. Leeba Braun, as well as hands-on help at the event from former Dolphin Club 7th, 8th and 10th graders.

The girls were moved to help orphaned girls their age and eager to put their plan into action to express what they felt in their hearts.   

“We went through a lot of organizations before we found out about Lev LaLev online,” said Henny Grunwald. “We chose their orphanage because many of the girls are our age and we wanted to do something really nice for them,” she explained.  “We thought a Chinese Auction would be fun, raise a lot of money and the kids here would love it.”

Devorah Hirsch added, “Some of the Lev LaLev girls are becoming bas mitzvahed and we thought we’d do something special for them to make the milestone even more memorable. We’re giving them packages with Tehillim and other useful items,” she said.

“Because these girls don’t have parents and we know what it’s like to have parents, we wanted to raise money for them so they could get the things parents would give them, like clothing,” explained Chani Feldman.

As at the last Dolphin Club Chinese Auction, bright blue We Are One Family buttons were given out free to all attendees, underscoring the theme of the chesed project.

“The message of the buttons expresses exactly how we feel—that Am Yisrael is one family, one people, one nation,” said Mrs. Braun.

 “Working on the Chinese Auction for Lev LaLev makes me realize how much I appreciate having two parents who take care of me--that I don’t need anyone to raise money for me and that I have everything I need at home,” said Devorah Lurie.

In the process of producing successful, worthwhile chesed projects, Dolphin Club girls develop leadership skills and blossom as individuals. 

“The Dolphin Club is really an amazing program because my daughter has completely opened up,” said one grateful Bais Yaakov parent. “She gives her opinion, which she’s never done before. My daughter feels very safe and confident and not worried about what other people are going to think about her. I’m just so grateful to Mrs. Braun for this program. It’s unbelievable what a changed girl I see,” she said.