Florida bat mitzva girl donates party gifts to Sderot kids

100 stuffed animals meant for guests at her bat mitzvah sent to children in Sderot.

bat mitzvah girl 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
bat mitzvah girl 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Dalia Zeling, a 12-year-old from Florida, has donated 100 stuffed animals that she was going to hand out to guests at her bat mitzvah to children in Sderot. Zeling contacted the AMIT national religious school network after reading about its activities in Sderot and arranged to have the animals delivered to the city's elementary school to give the pupils there something to smile about. Zeling's big day was all planned - party, dress, catering, and including stuffed animal centerpieces/party favors of a popular character, a personal favorite of Zeling's, for her guests. A day before her bat mitva, however, she heard about the Sderot kids' plight and began to search for a way to help them. "At the beginning," her mother said, "Dalia knew that she wanted to do something for them, but didn't know what. The more she heard about the children of Sderot, she understood that what she could do to bring them a little bit of a smile, and show them a lot of warmth, love and solidarity, would be to give them the stuffed animals, which she had planned to give to her guests at the end of the evening." "We are happy that Dalia decided of her own initiative to do something meaningful, and donate the popular dolls, which she loves so much, especially to children who today, more than usual, need a hug," her mother added. Zeling is already planning more ways to help out. "My parents always taught me values and giving. I am happy that as I become a bat mitzva, I was fortunate to [be able to] give the children of Sderot, who are under attack by Kassams and fear, a little happiness," she said. "As a result of my donation, I've started thinking with my friends about other initiatives to benefit the children.... I hope that during my upcoming visit to Israel, I'll get to meet my new friends in Sderot," she added.