Yet, the fact is that there are so many wannabe volunteers vying for jobs at The Zone, Oorah’s summer camp program, that only a few out of hundreds of applicants are accepted. They consider themselves lucky, but, actually, luck has nothing to do with it. Oorah takes those applicants because they’re amazing.
Take Chavi Pogrund* for instance. She feels amply rewarded for her hard work as a staff member at The Zone. The rewards may not be monetary and they may not even be noticeable to others, but to the chosen few who staff The Zone, those rewards are more precious than diamonds. The rewards are those moments that just pop up out of nowhere when you least expect them. You have to be sensitive to note them. You have to be listening. Like Chavi Pogrund, who wrote the following note to R’ Avraham Krawiec, director of The Zone:
Hi, this is Chavi Pogrund.
I just wanted to say thank you so much. ChillZone was so much fun! We all really enjoyed!
I wanted to share with you something small… I was just on the bus with Reena.* We were on the way home from ChillZone. We were both kinda caught up in our own thoughts, when suddenly, out of the blue, Reena looked up and said, “You know something? Camp really is my second home. You know, like they always say camp is our second home, but people don’t really take it seriously? But I’m telling you that for me it really is! For me, camp really is my second home!”
She then went on to tell me how she grew so much from camp and started keeping tznius. She said it in such a nice way. You should have heard her… So, anyway, I’m just passing this on because it meant so much to me.
A “second home.” That is what Oorah provides for so many children. We all know that real chinuch comes from the home, yet so many of the people Oorah helps were not privileged to receive what so many of us take for granted.
When Reena referred to The Zone as a “second home,” Chavi experienced an “Oorah moment.” She knew that she and the other Zone staff members were hitting all the right notes by providing a warm and super-supportive Torah atmosphere for all the neshamos in their care.
And truth be told, that kind of affirmation is all the pay that Chavi and the other Oorah volunteers will ever need or want.