By Ukee Washington

By Ukee Washington

CHERRY HILL, NJ (CBS) – Helping to grow a business while giving back to the community.

It’s the brainchild of New Jersey business owner Cheryl Pliskin.

The table is loaded with items, from sweats and Snuggies to books and toys.

They end up in boxes, bound for the Katz Jewish Community Center in Cherry Hill for something called “Mitzvah Magic,” an event that’s part business networking and part charity.

“The business community and anybody can come. We draw people from Philly, South Jersey – anybody who wants to attend, but they need to buy a ticket. They also have to bring something from the wish list,” Pliskin explains.

That wish list is provided by the 18 local charities involved.

One of them is Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey.

“We send care package items, such as Tastykakes, beef jerky, hygiene products, baby wipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, things like that to the deployed troops in Afghanistan,” says Dave Silver, the president of Operation Yellow Ribbon of South Jersey.

The event is in its second year, and it’s sponsored by the Jewish Business Network of Southern New Jersey.

“Everybody should be playing a role in the community and doing their best to benefit others and seeing this kind of event where we can benefit so many. I think it’s really powerful for the community,” says Bob Reisenbach, of the Jewish Business Network.

Last year, Mitzvah Magic collected $25,000 in items and more than $12,000 in donations.

“I want to beat last year’s numbers. Watching all of that unfold, knowing that one night will benefit somewhere around 10,000 local residents is amazing – amazing,” Pliskin says.

The second annual Mitzvah Magic event is Monday, April 29th.

To get tickets or donate, visit:

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