The Mitzvah Club is an initiative of the West Island Jewish Community Centre in Pierrefonds where kids in Grades 6-9 meet once a week to brainstorm ways to plan a mitzvah, fundraiser or event to help those in need. They then go out and make it happen.The first project for the club was a fundraiser for The Underdog Club, an organization located in Westmount that tries to find homes for dogs from various shelters that are not easily adoptable due to age, health or other issues.

“The youth called the Underdog Club to see what their immediate needs are,” said Viki Zerdok, coordinator of children and teen services at the West Island JCC, who runs the program with animator Kaycie Waldman.

“They expressed the need for funds as they were in the midst of coordinating with an organization called BETA to rescue some animals from Lebanon and ship them to Montreal. During our Mitzvah Club meetings, the kids made and baked dog biscuits to sell as a fundraiser. They made baggies, posters and more, and decided to create a dog treat recipe book to sell.”