NUTLEY, NJ — Since she was 9 years old in 2018, Maryland teenager Eva Szechenyi, who is now 13, and about to become a bat mitzvah, has been donating part of her allowance to the Phoenix Center, an accredited private special needs school located in Nutley.
Over the years, Eva has donated more than $500 of her allowance to the school in honor of her cousin, Erin, who attended the Phoenix Center and graduated in 2019. Also utilizing myriad fundraising efforts, including making yarn bracelets, which she sold and also donated to the Phoenix Center, Eva’s total efforts have resulted in nearly $1,200 in donations. This soon-to-be bat mitzvah has just raised $700 for her mitzvah project benefiting the Phoenix Center by baking and selling cookies, which she donated to a homeless shelter on behalf of the purchasers.
“Even though my cousin Erin graduated already, I decided to support the Phoenix Center because I love her and really appreciate all that the Phoenix Center did to help her,” Eva said. “I want the children at the Phoenix Center to have a place to go where they feel supported and part of the community.”
“Eva is a very special young woman,” Phoenix Center Executive Director Julie Mower said. “She has been donating to the Phoenix Center in honor of her cousin, Erin, for many years. Eva’s good work is something we all should strive to emulate. She is truly amazing!’’
For more information, visit https://www.thephoenixcenternj.org/.
Photos Courtesy of Nina Dietrich