Boy Donates More Than 150 Bar Mitzvah Gifts to Hospital's Pediatric Unit
Most boys are showered with gifts during their bar mitzvah, but one boy decided he would rather exchange all that for good karma, and donated the presents to a hospital's pediatric unit instead.
Michael Elinoff was originally inspired by the word 'mitzvah', which also means 'good deed' in Hebrew.
So on his bar mitzvah invitation he wrote: "If possible, bring something to donate to Mercy Hospital."
Gifts and checks made out to the hospital flooded in, and soon enough, he had over 150 gifts to donate.
"It makes me feel really good because it gives me an opportunity to help people," Elinoff said.
The gifts were donated to the pediatric unit at UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Centers, in the name of his bar mitzvah tutor's daughter, Meira Loring, who suffered burn injuries to her legs and torso.
Meira's mother, Leah Ackner, told InsideEdition.com that her daughter has made incredible progress in recovery as a result of the attention they received at the UPMC Mercy Trauma and Burn Centers.
"They gave us the gift of our daughter's smile back," she said.
Her daughter said that thanks to the gifts Elinoff donated, "I could paint in my room. It would be boring if I didn't."
"We can't thank the Elinoffs enough for this generous donation," Ackner continued. "Michael is a very generous and thoughtful kid, but I've never had a student look to me for a mitzvah project that involved my family. Obviously we were touched, and the opportunity to give back to Mercy was an opportunity we couldn't pass up."
Elinoff told InsideEdition.com that "our family has been really good friends with their family for a long time."
"It was a sweet and thoughtful donation to an incredibly worthy place," Meira's father, Jonathan Loring, added.