3By Rivky Flohr

Esther Deutsch is a typical post-high-school girl living in Brooklyn. One year, as Purim approached, Esther was looking for a way to make the day special and meaningful. She tried to see if there was any organization that she could volunteer for on Purim. When she found that basically no such organization existed, she took the leap and created her own.

Founded in 2012, Just Clowning Around is an organization whose mission is to bring joy and happiness to the elderly and homebound on Purim day. The plan was to recruit volunteers and go around on Purim to visit elderly people who needed a visit. Word spread, and Esther got so many calls from other girls who wanted to join in. She also put together a list of elderly people who would benefit from their services.

“It was amazing,” says Esther. “We hardly advertised and yet we got so many donations and offers for volunteers from so many places, even other states. People sent money from all over the country.” Before Purim, Esther put together beautiful mishloach manot packages, keeping in mind what her clients would appreciate.

Finally, after all the preparation, Purim day arrived. JCA started out in a home in Brooklyn, and made their way from house to house, leaving a trail of smiles in their wake. One girl brought a guitar, another brought a camera, and the rest all brought smiles and kind words for their clients. They sang and danced and gave it their all.

The project was successful beyond their wildest dreams. After Purim, the letters and phone calls poured in, thanking Esther and the JCA for their unbelievable work spreading joy on Purim.

Esther’s message to everyone is this: You can do it. The world needs you and you can be the one to make a change in the world. Go for it; follow your dreams and you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve.

To learn more, contact Esther Deutsch, project manager, JCA-Just Clowning Around (Town) at jcajustclowningaround@gmail.com, 526 East 8th Street in Brooklyn, or call 570-687-6408. Like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCAJustClowningAround v


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