By Mia Salas

Bar and Bat Mitzvah projects are an incredible opportunity for kids to develop their leadership, research, and communication skills. But at their core, these projects are about compassion– understanding, learning, and loving others. We’re always on the lookout for Mitzvah projects that do just that, so when we heard about Morgan Sohmer’s efforts to save animals in Ukraine, we knew we had to share.

Morgan’s Bat Mitzvah Project stemmed from her love for animals and her impressive global awareness: “Anyone who knows me is aware that my Boston Terrier, Ruby, is my life. After hearing about all the atrocities happening in the Ukraine, I couldn’t help but think about the animals left behind,” she says.

And Morgan’s right. According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), animals are neglected in times of war: “We know from our rescue work around the world that animals are often the forgotten victims of conflict and war,” IFAW states on their website. Impact is, of course, an important part of a mitzvah project, but perhaps more incredible is when a project draws our attention to something that otherwise would have slipped through the cracks. Animals have rights too, and right now they need our help in Ukraine.

“For my Bat Mitzvah Project, thanks to the guidance of Cantor Elena at Temple Sinai of Roslyn, I have partnered with a local animal shelter in the city of Dnipro in Ukraine. They are working tirelessly to care for these animals, many of whom are sick and injured,” explains Morgan.

Shelter Pegasus Dnipro is caring for animals who were abandoned or injured amidst the horrors of what is currently happening in Ukraine. “It breaks my heart to see the photos they post, but I am inspired by the devotion of the staff to do my part to help these animals,” says Morgan. And her Bat Mitzvah project encourages us to do our part too.

By donating to the shelter, you’ll help them take care of the animals in the best way possible so that these furry friends can be nursed back to health. Animals’ lives are lives too, and Morgan’s project prompts us to recognize that. To donate, venmo @Samantha-Sohmer any dollar amount. You can also email [email protected] to arrange another form of payment.

This story first appeared on Mitzvahmarket.com.

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