Mitzvah Day is back Nov. 1, and will be launching the GVC Foundation's new Good Deeds Done Together, where volunteers can help local non-profits with four hours of their time every month.
But with less than a month to go before Mitzvah Day kicks off, Good Deeds organizers are short on participation from volunteers and non-profits.
Veletta Canouts, executive director of the Green Valley Council, is helping to organize the event. She said there are 15 volunteers and five organizations signed on.
Marcia Wiener has been organizing the event since it began in 2014, with nearly 200 volunteers. There wasn't a Mitzvah Day last year due to personnel issues, Wiener said. Although Mitzvah Day is part of Good Deeds, Wiener still takes part in organizing and planning the event along with others at GVC.
Wiener said past turnout was amazing with more than 25 non-profit agencies and 150 volunteers in the greater Green Valley area. She wants to see the same for Mitzvah day this year.
"We need more people," she said. "We haven't hit our goal in any way and everybody is welcome. It's a day of gratitude and action. Our goal is 150 again, but if we have 100, that would be wonderful."
Organizers plan a big outreach campaign next week, Canouts said.
One area where Wiener wants to find added volunteers are at Sahuarita's high schools. During previous Mitzvah Day events, students from Walden Grove and Sahuarita high schools collected food for the Crossroads Mission in Nogales. Culinary classes at the high schools also baked for Crossroads meals.
Canouts said part of their process to finding volunteers is reaching out to participants from 2017. But it's going to be more than just finding volunteers. While Wiener is concentrating on Mitzvah Day, Canouts and the overall leadership of Good Deeds is looking for a base willing to volunteer once a month, or as often as they can.
Mitzvah Day is an international faith-based event, but participants neither need to belong to a specific faith to participate nor do they need to be residents of the immediate area.
"A lot of people who participated in Mitzvah Day enjoyed it, thought that it was great to meet other people maybe not from your background in terms of religion," Canouts said. "But they all got a sense of fulfillment from it."