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MOUNT LEBANON (KDKA) – From taking plates to tables, to filling glasses with water, Mitzvah Day volunteers stepped in to serve this Christmas. Mitzvah- the commandment to do a good deed, is a chance for members of the Jewish faith to perform acts of kindness.

“We can bus tables, get them anything they need and just offer a hand on Christmas Day,” said Laura Cherner, of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

The volunteers- all members of the Hewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, were happy to serve on their day off from work.

“We focus on more human needs and community service sites, so Asbury Heights is one of them,” said Cherner.

Asbury Heights in Mt. Lebanon was one of the 65 sites where Mitzvah Day volunteers are serving the community. Volunteers will donate more than 1,500 hours of service this Christmas.

This year, there are nearly 900 Mitzvah Day volunteers across the Pittsburgh area.

“I think it’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard of,” said Patti Ludwig-Beymer, who had Christmas lunch as Asbury Heights with her mother. “I was not aware of this until we came today to be with my mom…My mom is 100 and a half years old and she’s the oldest resident here in independent living here at Asbury.”

Ludwig-Beymer says the Mitzvah Day volunteers represent the kindness of others.

“For the Jewish community to rally around and provide this service, especially after the travesty that happened with the mass shooting that happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue, my heart is full, I don’t know what to say.”

“We’re giving back to them to say thank you for all of the support they’ve given us,” said Cherner, referring to the support members of the Jewish faith received following the Oct. 27 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

“It shows our strength as Pittsburghers and it’s an opportunity to see that we are bigger than what has happened,” said Sandra Knapper, who had lunch with a family friend.

Regardless of faith, an act of service is always a good deed.

Lisa Washington