By Rabbi Rachel Esserman
This bat mitzvah project was personal. Shayna Foreman, the daughter of Abbi and Brett Foreman of Vestal, used the money she raised from her bat mitzvah project to buy medical alert bracelets because she knew their importance: two years ago, two friends of hers were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. “The medical alert bracelets are to let others know they have diabetes in case of emergency,” Foreman said in an e-mail interview. “For example, if [their blood sugar gets] too high, they could pass out, and others could see the bracelet and know how to handle the situation.”
Foreman, who will celebrate her bat mitzvah in August at Temple Concord, learned from her religious school studies about the importance of helping others. “My Torah portion is all about helping people in need or just helping people,” she said. “I think it is important because it has to do with what I am reading in the Torah. I learned that helping people is not only fun, but it feels really good knowing that you are doing something for the community.”
Originally, Foreman planned to hold a spaghetti dinner at the synagogue to raise money for the bracelets, but the COVID pandemic forced her to think creatively since a dinner was no longer possible. She decided to hold a raffle instead – collecting donated items for raffle baskets, complete baskets and monetary donations. The final results was 15 baskets, which were then raffled off. “I chose the fund-raiser because I knew that raffle baskets are fun, and they are safe to do with COVID,” she said.
The basket raffle raised $1,325 in donations. RoadID, which sells medical ID bracelets, gave Foreman a discount on the items so she was able to purchase 100 medical alert bracelets in different sizes for use by both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics.
Foreman noted that she is going into ninth grade next year and is involved in several school activities, including synchronized swimming. Her favorite subject in school is English and she also plays the trumpet. “When I am free, I like to tumble,” she said. “I am working on getting my back handspring.” In addition to this, she is a good friend, willing to help both of her friends and others with diabetes stay safe.