PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Michael Elinoff has celebrated his Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish ritual marking passage into manhood. When he heard that his tutor’s daughter, Meira Loring, was severely burned on her legs and torso New Year’s Eve, he asked his guests to provide gifts for her and the Pediatric Burn Unit at Mercy Hospital.

“When you’re in the hospital,” Michael said, “You want to be just like a normal child, and have fun. And these toys and arts and craft things allow the children in the unit be able to be that.”

READ MORE: All 13 Propel Schools To Learn Remotely Following Social Media Threat

Michael and his family collected more than 150 gifts.

“That’s Michael,” said his mother, Beth Elinoff. “He is always willing to help other people, and is there when anybody needs anything. So this doesn’t surprise me a bit.”

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

Mercy Hospital has the leading Pediatric Burn Unit in the area. Meira is one of about a hundred kids who are admitted every year.

READ MORE: Mayor Bill Peduto Helps Light Pittsburgh's Official Menorah

Meira’s mother has also shared her gifts.

We said well, let’s give them to the services here,” Leah Ackner said. “They’ve helped us so much, we want to give back.”
Child life specialist Melissa Shiring says toys and crafts help get burn victims up and about.

“Whether it’s through physical play, or they’re just playing with arts and crafts, at least they’re moving all parts of their body, and working through some of the issues they may have.”

Michael Elinoff found an added meaning in “Bar Mitzvah.”

MORE NEWS: Pitt Football Fans Wait In Line Overnight For ACC Championship Game Tickets

“Mitzvah means doing a good deed,” he said. “And this is a good deed, helping other people.”