Ring ring. Ring ring. Hi, this is Jane. I am calling today as a Super Sunday Volunteer on behalf of the Jewish Federation of St. Louis. Thank you for your past support of our Annual Campaign. Last year you pledged $X, can we count on you for $X this year? The needs of our community are ever-growing and we need your help.
Does that sound familiar to you? It was not that many years ago that close to 1,000 volunteers from our Jewish community would cram together, sitting elbow to elbow, making phone calls on the Sunday after the Super Bowl to take part in an annual tradition known as Super Sunday. Collectively, volunteers would make over 10,000 phone calls in one day. It was so loud at times that people couldn’t hear the person on the other end of the phone. The ruach in the room was infectious. People in the room knew why they were there. They felt proud to help other community members do the mitzvah of making a donation to the Annual Campaign. They knew that they were making an impact.
Super Sunday began in 1980. In 1985, more than 4,500 donors made pledges on Super Sunday (approximately the same number of people who contributed to the 2018 Annual Campaign in total). In 1990, over $775,000 was raised on Super Sunday. Times have changed. On a micro level, the number of volunteers willing to make phone calls either as part of a group or on their own has dwindled over the years. On a macro level, it is simply harder these days to break through the clutter of the communication that people receive. Calls, emails, texts, Facebook messages, Snapchats, old-fashioned snail mail. We are all overwhelmed.
What hasn’t changed is why it is important to give to the Federation’s Annual Campaign. When you give to Federation, you are part of something larger than yourself. You are connected to thousands of others who believe in a shared responsibility to our community. Federation changes lives. We keep a pulse on the greatest needs of our Jewish community by gathering diverse perspectives, and we collaborate with our community partners to meet those needs. It’s more than Tzedakah. Federation is people working together and leveraging our collective resources to achieve common goals.
On August 15, Federation is kicking off our 100 Days to Make an Impact to raise money for our Annual Campaign. There will be no Super Sunday, but there will be many other opportunities to donate. Calls, emails, texts, Facebook messages, Snapchats, old-fashioned snail mail. We will try them all. We do this because it matters. Your gift matters. It is as true today as it was 40 years ago. The needs of our community are ever-growing and we need your help.
Joel Frankel is the Director of Campaign Operations for Federation. If you any questions about the investments Jewish Federation makes with the funds raised from the Annual Campaign, you can contact him directly at 314-442-3843 or JFrankel@JFedStl.org.