“Volunteer work has taught me to appreciate my own talents and the gifts that I was given.”

—Shifra Mincer

Shifra Mincer (in her own words)
I was raised in New York City where I saw the homeless shivering from cold every winter. In sixth grade, a teacher offered to bring some students to a homeless shelter after school. I went with my friends and the teacher for several weeks, but when they stopped going together I continued to volunteer. Because I knew how to sew, I was asked to help out with the sewing kit if any guests requested some repairs. Throughout high school I continued to come each week after school, setting up my sewing kit that had now grown quite large. I got to know the guests who came regularly and I also got to know their clothes: the jackets, the shirts, the pants, and the shoes that were given to me with gaping holes and sagging seams.

In high school I started a sewing club with my friend and we taught our fellow students how to sew. We made heart-shaped pillows for sick children and the elderly. In college I continue to volunteer at our fully student run homeless shelter, UNILU.

Volunteer work has taught me to appreciate my own talents and the gifts that I was given. With my own hands as a young girl I had the power to repair someone's coat and keep him warm. Every time it rained I would think about the umbrellas I had sewn and suddenly I would appreciate that I was lucky enough to have a home. In the future I hope to continue helping others as much as I can. It is the most fulfilling and most important thing I have ever done.

Volunteering. Pass It On!

This billboard about Volunteering features Shifra Mincer.

Pass It On®

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Your Comments
Anonymous MAY 16, 2022
thank you

Ella C. OCTOBER 5, 2021
Wow.. That is so so kind of you to do. Especially starting at a such a young age?! Much better than the standards of today, now people don't even try. I'm almost finished with High School, and I can tell you that they are super important years to do service work!

Jenna Herritt from Kent state APRIL 14, 2020
Thanks,Shifra for making me feel like I can do all kinds of talents.

Josh from Indiana DECEMBER 25, 2018
Wonderful example! May we all have that kind of heart....

Anonymous SEPTEMBER 14, 2018
So inspiring

Anonymous JULY 22, 2018
Thank you! God Bless!

Kaylee from Georgia JUNE 2, 2018
She inspired me so much!!!

will.s from hell JANUARY 31, 2018

Anonymous JANUARY 9, 2018
you inspire me thanks for helping the poor.

Owen from School AUGUST 29, 2017
This girl, she is wonderful. Our whole class likes her!

Briannna from Nebraska SEPTEMBER 21, 2016
My muise teacher knows about me

Brianna from Nebraska SEPTEMBER 21, 2016
Your a hero in my eyes

Brianna from Nebraska SEPTEMBER 21, 2016

Jeffery from School SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
=-) Nice!

sally from Clafornia SEPTEMBER 9, 2016
so sweet!!!!!!

ally from michigan SEPTEMBER 5, 2014
great job

Jeremiah from School APRIL 22, 2014
She is a hero in everyone's eyes

Katie from School  APRIL 17, 2014
Your a hero in my eyes

Miranda from School APRIL 16, 2014
OMG how nice to do that like WOW one time my sis made fun of a homeless person and I thought in my head WHAT IF YOU WERE HOMELESS DONT BE MEAN !!!!!!!! Thank you so much Shifra for making the world a better place

JJS from toronto JANUARY 21, 2014
we need more people like Shifra maybe then our world would be better

JAMES R. from La Porte Indiana NOVEMBER 16, 2013
I used to go to wherever the homeless were, and bring them food when I had it, coats, clothes, etc... I only stopped because I was diagnosed with cancer(10 yrs cancer free!!!) & it is the cancer that has destroyed my body's ability to continue helping the homeless. The will to help is still there, but my body will not allow it usually. :(

Alexis from Indiana AUGUST 13, 2013
I do something like this. Except my family & I give the homeless food. I like seeing their faces & how gratefu they can be.

Tuai Siolo from Sacramento APRIL 2, 2013
We need more philanthropists today.

Chelsea Mccauley from indianapolis, in  MARCH 22, 2012
It's a good idea that you started this, it shows the homeless people that you care about them. good job!

Jameson S. from Burnt Hills New York DECEMBER 12, 2011
My grandma sews to!!!!

Mike from ny,ny OCTOBER 1, 2011
nobody thinks about the teacher, and i know that teacher, she is my middle school teacher, and her name is Victoria Ginsberg. She made shifra famous by entering her in chess club!

Jordan Caldwell(: from Adrian, Michigan  MAY 23, 2011
Shifra Mincer, you're an everyday hero! We need more people like you in the world! Your contribution was nothing like anything else I have heard. Thank-you Shifra Mincer!

Zletr Blake from Savannah, GA MAY 21, 2011
Such a sweet story. I used to be in a van club in Atlanta and I was the only woman in it, but we used to crochet and knit for the elderly and go to the nursing homes and sing Christmas carols and give them the gifts for Christmas. I need to do more in that area. Thanks for your wonderful story. It was very touching~~

Tiara Hudson from Conneicut FEBRUARY 8, 2011
She's such a caring person. Who would have ever thought to do that?

pinkloven from ohio  JANUARY 31, 2011
That is so sweet to donate clothes.

jack f from reno nev DECEMBER 3, 2010
You're beautiful, don't change.

jeff m from omaha ne DECEMBER 3, 2010
Serving others is the key to happiness.

Teresa S from West Monroe , LA OCTOBER 6, 2010
Shifra you are one in a million. God bless you always, for being so caring, and for sharing with others.

Harry S. from Sarangkot SEPTEMBER 13, 2010
I like what you're doing, Shifra. You're in good company.

Kim B. from United Kingdom JULY 22, 2010
You are an absolute sweetheart - the world needs more young people like you - an inspiration to us all.

Carter, K from Long Beach, CA MARCH 23, 2010
Live life to the fullest!!

Joanna H. from Monkey Land MARCH 23, 2010
A very inspiring piece of art.

Lauren C from U.S.A MARCH 18, 2010
I learned that maybe I should start to volunteer to help others. I am so selfish that maybe one day, I too, can grow up to be like Shifra. I am pretty sure that she is living her life quite proud that she was able to help all of those people that she did.

April S. from Chandler, AZ JANUARY 29, 2010
Your story made me want to cry. You are as beautiful as you are amazing. Your story inspires us all.

Zaundra H from Meriden CT DECEMBER 13, 2009
Life is a song worth singing. So sing loudly.

Kirthishri M.V. from Bangalore, India NOVEMBER 3, 2009
Shifra, I really appreciate you because you are doing something that many of us can do but don't. Lets remember that this body is not meant to just "smear sandal paste" but it is for the service of fellow human beings.

Jimmy U. from Brookings, Oregon MAY 20, 2009
Awesome how she kept doing it even though she didn`t have to and for so long, even encouraging other students to take part.

Lily L. from Missouri MAY 12, 2009
It is so neat to see a young woman helping others that don't have a home. Also providing them clothes and blanket to keep the family warm for the winter. This is also a very good example for those who are willing to help homeless around the world. Shifra is a very good example of how she saw a homeless shivering from cold in the winter and made a blanket sewed by hand.

Matthew M. from Boston, MA MARCH 26, 2009
You're an inspiration to many and it was a pleasure to meet you. You have done and will continue to do great things in life. Don't waste your talent.

Elizabeth W. from Canada, ON MARCH 24, 2009
She does what my mom does!

Chike-Iyo, F. from P.H. Nigeria FEBRUARY 24, 2009
We have it somewhere in our soul (a genuine drive to reach out) but the pressures of life seem to be stunting it. We can only realize our worth when we break the cuffs and reach out. This is what this billboard is helping people do. The effect lingers in my soul.


Madison. T from McMinnville, Or NOVEMBER 18, 2008
I love the saying at the end, "Mends more than just clothes." I almost cried , so simple, such a good example though.

Dorothy H. from Hungary NOVEMBER 1, 2008
Thank you for this story. Volunteering has always been something I wanted to do; I just never knew where to start. But now I guess I don't need to think about complicated things. And thank you for this sentence: "Volunteer work has taught me to appreciate my own talents and the gifts that I was given." Maybe this is what I've been searching for...

Jessica H. from Saginaw, M MAY 28, 2008
It is very nice thing to think of others before yourself. When you do good things, good things will happen.

Dana W. from Orlando, Florida USA DECEMBER 4, 2007
These are excellent! I would love to see one (or more) in Orlando, FL.

Manny R from Catalina, Arizona USA NOVEMBER 27, 2007
Wow Wow Wow! I am in awe. I now know more than ever what must do. Find way to better serve People and our Planet. Help people any way I can, A smile,a wave, a kind act of generosity. May I assist you?

Jean K. from Oregon, USA NOVEMBER 16, 2007
If nobody ever volunteered, nothing would be done with care and love.

Abby L. from Edison, New Jersey, USA NOVEMBER 14, 2007
Volunteering in our community is a very precious thing to do and this...this will make it happen.

Thomas M. from St. Louis, Missouri, USA SEPTEMBER 22, 2007
May you be blessed over-abundantly for the work you do for the homeless. I was one many years ago myself. And it doesn't hurt that you have the most genuine and warm smile I've ever seen on a human being.

Mahendra B. from Mumbai, India SEPTEMBER 20, 2007
Interesting and impressive! Initiatives of Shifra take a her eternally forward. Motivations within a person can be so inspiring and so beautiful! Good example set by Shifra!!

euniceomagu from Nigeral Enugu JULY 27, 2007
to help the poor

channy from Mumbai JULY 10, 2007
story that inspired her to do this is worth a peek for all

Crystal N from Austin, Texas USA MAY 25, 2007
I pass by your billboard everyday in Austin, Texas, and there are so many homeless here, I think that they appreciate you helping others like them, your generosity and goodwill will serve you well in life.

chioma ike from Nigeria MAY 7, 2007
Shows that we can do much more than give just money for the needy.

Eunice R. from Evenston, WY APRIL 9, 2007
Such a cute young girl...helping others around the world.

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