Passed out food and supplies to the homeless community under a bridge in Greenville, South Carolina.
Had a wonderful opportunity to sit down with the people of Lititz, Pennsylvania as they launched their Lititz Cares project. Thank you to everybody there for the stimulating discussion, enthusiasm, and hospitality. Looking forward to all of the great things you’ll do and the ways it can be passed along!
For more about Lititz Cares and the launch, click here.
Well, it’s a new year, but there’s no reason to stop volunteering. I went to the Maui Food Bank, joined by my co-worker Ashley and her husband, Jeff (who coincidentally were on Maui for their honeymoon).
We sorted and shelved food for a few hours. If you’re planning to visit Maui and want to give back, you can sign up on their website – http://www.mauifoodbank.org/
Maui is a wonderful place. Not just for its abundant natural beauty of blue water, greenery, and mountains. The Aloha culture, the people, the history, and the traditions make Maui unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been.
I was lucky enough to join up with the South Maui Volunteers at venerable Kam II Beach in Kihei where I did some light gardening. If you’re in Maui on vacation and you want to give back in appreciation for the splendor you have enjoyed, you can volunteer with them even if it’s only one time. No reason not to!
More about Hoaloha ‘Aina (from their website):
Hoaloha ‘Aina (aka South Maui Volunteers), under the guidance of Parks, State DLNR, and UH SEA Grant personnel, has been able to help in several instances of natural and man-made events and disasters which have affected the south Maui coastal dunes. Storms have ravaged dunes and beach areas, water leaks have washed out trails, sea birds have been killed by dogs, vandalism has damaged dune areas, and on several occasions there have been huge mounds of dumped rubbish. Our volunteer group has been able to step in and repair most of the areas with the help of grants from Hawaii Tourism Authority, donations from supporters, and hours of service from a host of wonderful volunteers.
Hoaloha ‘Aina on the web:
We are immeasurably grateful to Xavier Hernandez, Volunteer Coordinator at the San Diego Food Bank for making room for two more volunteers even though he had a full volunteer team in place (yay San Diego community!). The food bank is a huge operation with a huge mission. We helped box food that will ultimately be distributed to nearly 800 elderly citizens in the San Diego area.
More about San Diego Food Bank (from their website):
The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in San Diego County. Last year, the Food Bank distributed 22 million pounds of food, and the Food Bank serves, on average, 370,000 people per month in San Diego County.
The Food Bank receives food from the USDA, food manufacturers, food retailers, the agricultural sector, food drives, and through financial contributions that enable us to purchase protein-rich foods, fresh produce, and dry staple foods such as beans, oatmeal, and rice. We also benefit from the generosity of more than 28,000 volunteers annually that help to sort and distribute donated and purchased food products.
The Food Bank works to acquire, store, organize, and distribute food through a network of 330 nonprofit partner organizations that include food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless and residential shelters, youth programs, senior centers, and low-income daycare centers in communities throughout San Diego County. The Food Bank also distributes food directly to those in need at 183 distribution sites throughout the county.
In 2010, the families of Joan and Irwin Jacobs and Stephen and Marjorie Cushman donated $1.76 million to pay off the Food Bank’s mortgage on our Miramar warehouse facility making the organization effectively debt free. To honor the generosity and long-term support of both families, the Food Bank was renamed the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.
I was lucky enough to stop by the studios of Fox News to be a guest on “Fox & Friends.” It was an awesome experience and I’m thankful to everybody there.
I wrote a piece for Affect Magazine about the past year.
Like many people, I’ve long been a proponent for charity and volunteer work, but alas, most of my efforts had been online. In late 2013, after the death of a friend, I made an early New Year’s resolution—volunteer in all fifty United States throughout 2014. It’s now November, and I’ve only got two states left to go. Here are some things I’ve learned this year–use them well…more.
My friend Cedric and I volunteered at New to You in Broadview, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). Parents from his son’s school were there to help set up a holiday display. And so were we.
More about New to You (from their website):
We are an upscale non-profit resale store located in Broadview, Illinois (western suburb of Chicago), at the corner of Roosevelt and 17th Avenue.
All merchandise is donated. All workers except for the store managers are volunteers.
The store offers a wide variety of new and used items including but not limited to antiques and other collectibles, books, boutique items, clothing, electronics, furniture, housewares, jewelry, music, videos, shoes, small appliances, sporting goods, and toys.
New to You on the web:
After volunteering in northwest Indiana, my friend Cedric and I drove the short distance to the Indiana/Michigan border, where we stopped in the town of New Buffalo to do beach clean up along the shore of Lake Michigan.
Gary, Indiana is a town I’ve driven by for years on my way to somewhere else. In the upper Midwest it’s a well known place, perhaps most known for its troubles after the decline of industry in the Rust Belt. I stopped by Chicago to pick up my lifelong friend, Cedric, to head the short distance to Gary, so the two of us could meet with the awesome volunteer team at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.
More about Food Bank of Northwest Indiana (from their website):
Our mission is to alleviate hunger by acquiring and distributing food to people in need, promoting solutions that advance self-sufficiency and hunger relief, and leading our region in the fight against hunger.