Raised airline prices create an additional opportunity to help others

— Rafi Glazer

These days airlines charge for nearly everything. Checked baggage, carry-ons, snacks, even additional leg room are now fair game for an industry trying to stay afloat.

Every once in a while, though, something good can come out of increased prices or added difficulties.

48 families sent their children to give of themselves for the summer, and the flight is another wonderful opportunity to do something good.

June 27th marked the beginning of the 60th year of the American Jewish Society for Service (AJSS), an organization which encourages high school aged Jewish students to volunteer their time and efforts helping those less fortunate.

These 48 students, who have arrived either in Kansas City, KS, Little Rock, AR, or Avery County, NC, will serve with Habitat for Humanity, food pantries, veterans services organizations, and whatever other local agencies are in need of volunteer labor.

In preparing for this trip, participants had to find a balance between bringing everything they need for 6 weeks, and avoiding the additional costs required by the airlines.

One mother came up with a brilliant suggestion. Instead of shlepping all the bed linens, towels, sleeping bags and other large bulky objects, why not by them once they get there? This way the participants will have the materials they need, without having to pay for the extra luggage.

The best part of the suggestion was what to do with all these things at the end of the summer? To bring them home would defeat the purpose of avoiding the extra fees. Why not donate these gently used sheets, towels, sleeping bags, and whatever else, to people in the community who could benefit from them?

After giving of their time for six weeks, AJSS volunteers have the opportunity to leave a parting gift to those who they have come to know. Even when AJSS leaves, the impact that our volunteers made will still be tangible. The houses they helped construct, the food they distributed, the time they gave, and even the bedding can go to someone in need. What a great legacy for high school students to leave.

Good deeds can come from everywhere, even from raised prices. Just don’t tell the airlines, or they might make people pay for using the airplane restrooms.

Rafi Glazer is a program associate for the American Jewish Society for Service.


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