Get to Know Baltimore Native Leslie Hollins, Mitzvah Week’s Vice Chair


What is your most beloved Baltimore location?

Right now, it’s my home. Despite the stressors of working and schooling from home during COVID, I am grateful for the time with my teenagers and my husband.  

What is your favorite thing about your career?

I love my job! I am a psychologist who specializes in comprehensive psychoeducational assessments for children, adolescents and young adults. My favorite part of my work is that I feel like I truly make a difference in people’s lives. I believe that every child should have the best opportunities to succeed, and I love helping children and their parents navigate that path towards success.


What is the last book you read?

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.

What is currently in your Netflix (or other streaming) queue?

Kim’s Convenience and the last season of Schitt’s Creek.

Can you share some of your favorite family Chanukah traditions?

I have two favorite traditions – the first is that we select one day of Chanukah each year as our “giving day.” My children pick an organization that they want to support, and we either deliver gifts or a monetary contribution. My other favorite tradition is getting together with lots of family for lunch and my mom’s latkes!

What causes are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about giving children and families the opportunity and resources to become their best selves. There are so many ways – both small and large – to pay it forward, and I believe that every act of kindness and community service has a positive impact on us all.  

How do you involve your family in volunteering?

We do a few different things throughout the year – some organized and others not. Pre-COVID, our neighborhood families got together to make toiletry kits for The Weinberg Housing Center. Throughout the year, my sons and I make Blessing Bags with water and snacks to keep in the car and hand to people in need. Generally though, we rely a lot on JVC to help us stay organized with volunteering. We especially like volunteering for Mitzvah Day (Mitzvah Week this year)! My older son has been part of the planning process for the past couple of years, and I love that he gets to see how large community volunteer events come to fruition. Each year, we volunteer on December 24th and 25th. My hope is that my boys will continue this tradition with their own families. 


Why is being involved with the Jewish Volunteer Connection’s (JVC) Mitzvah Day so important to you?

To me, the holidays are a time when I appreciate my blessings and hopefully, share some joy with others. While I have worked hard to achieve my goals, I was always (and still am) surrounded by love and support, both financial and emotional. I attended a school where I felt like a priority to teachers, and I was encouraged both at home and at school to be my best self. My children also have these same opportunities and supports. Participating in Mitzvah Day/Week provides us a way to give a little something back to the community that has nurtured us.

How is Mitzvah Day going to be different this year?

This year, it is Mitzvah Week and will run from December 20-25. Given COVID, we will not have the mega-sites at the JCCs. Instead, we will assemble the annual Winter Care Packages in small groups. There are also opportunities for people to volunteer in the safety of their homes as well as through interactive virtual events.


How can other’s get involved with Mitzvah Week? (socially distanced of course).

What a great question! There are many opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to get involved with this year’s Mitzvah Week, from either in or outside your home. Every community activity follows recommended COVID-19 safety precautions, include packing Winter Care Packages in small groups, packing or serving meals at one of our service partner sites, and delivering Winter Care Packages to our service partners. I

n addition, there are various service projects you can purchase to complete at home. A great gift for families is our “Mitzvah Week in a Box,” which includes six different projects to create – like making no-sew fleece blankets, notes of encouragement and self-care kits. This year, we have also added some virtual events, which include both service and learning opportunities.


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