We normally think of an angel as an adult, but a number of young people in our Jewish community are performing good deeds. We have a responsibility to recognize and applaud their contributions.

This week’s angel is Harrison Frank, who has provided great assistance to his school, the community, and the Packaged Good, a Dunwoody-based nonprofit that empowers children and teaches personal responsibility through the preparation of decorated gift bags for the needy.

Harrison is a seventh-grader at the Davis Academy, and his family members have been part of Temple Emanu-El for many years.

Harrison was aware of the Packaged Good and decided that for his bar mitzvah project he would raise money and donate merchandise for the nonprofit. His efforts met with great success, as he was able to have three large pallets of gifts donated.

He was so impressed with the Packaged Good’s efforts that he has helped in a number of other ways:

  • He is the youngest member of the Packaged Good’s advisory board.
  • He wrote the organization’s bar/bat mitzvah service project outline of requirements.
  • He wrote the nonprofit’s Young Leadership Program requirements.
  • He serves as founder Sally Mundell’s right-hand man on numerous projects.

Harrison’s other activities include:

  • Head of crew for Davis school plays.
  • Member of Temple Emanu-El’s Young Leadership Program and the youngest person to receive the annual synagoguewide volunteer award.
  • Writer of Emanu-El’s b’nai mitzvah service project guidelines and mentor to future students in completing their service projects.
  • Member of the Davis Middle School Leadership Training Institute.
  • Soccer referee.
  • Recognized leader in his Boy Scout troop.

In addition, his cousin serves on the USS Nimitz, the Navy’s oldest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. He collected Halloween candy and sent many boxes to the ship’s crew in conjunction with the Packaged Good.

When not otherwise occupied, Harrison is a budding entrepreneur and has operated a trash removal business for elderly neighbors and sold novelties at events.

It is important to note that these accomplishments did not come easily for Harrison. At an early age, he discovered that he had some learning difficulties and had to work especially hard to overcome those challenges. His determination and hard work taught him valuable life lessons and laid the basis for a positive attitude to address life’s challenges.

Asked why he has tackled so many community service projects, Harrison said he feels a responsibility to give back to a community that has provided so much to his family. He acquired these attitudes and values from his parents, grandparents, teachers and synagogue.

He believes that his life has been enriched by helping others, and he seeks to be a good role model for his two younger brothers — incredible wisdom and insight from such a young person.

Harrison is a great role model and an inspiration for children and adults. We can all benefit from his example.

One of the great wonders of life is that we can all learn from one another, regardless of age or position.

In conclusion, let’s not forget the first angel of the Packaged Good, Sally Mundell: a courageous young woman who turned a personal loss into a positive movement for her two daughters, other young children and the needy in our community.

 

Al Shams is a Sandy Springs resident, an ex-CPA and an investment professional with more than 36 years’ industry experience.