Blog Archives

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.

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We woke up early and made the six hour drive to volunteer at the San Diego Food Bank. 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.

For more information about the San Diego Food Bank, visit their website.

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.

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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.

 

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.

I look forward to visiting Gary, again, in the near future.

There aren’t many things better than walking around a lake at sunset. When the opportunity arose to do exactly that at Milford Wampold Memorial Park right outside the campus of LSU, who could decline? Joined by old friend, Lisa, we picked up garbage along the water and in the general park area. It’s easy to see the change you can make picking up garbage. Immediate change for the better.

ingauthierChances are, if you’re not from the area, you’re wondering is that that Gau-thee-aye or Gau-theor, but it’s neither. It’s Go-Shay. Who knew?

Anyway, stopped by the Jackson County Animal Shelter in Gauthier and helped clean kitty cages. So many adorable and hugely adoptable kittens and dogs are waiting for you. If you’re looking to get an animal, please consider adopting from a shelter. Also, if you’re already a pet owner, please, please, please get your animal spayed/neutered.

Thanks to volunteer friend Michelle and the team at the shelter, including: Lynn, Diane, and Austin.

Had an opportunity to stop by a park my father used to play in when he was younger. It’s pretty incredible what ends up in the weeds and, in this case, a small lake at Antioch Park in Mission Kansas. Here are things retrieved from the water:

Styrofoam cups (4)
Sprite can
Softball
4 Pokemon cards

Also got to see ducks and fish and lots of people enjoying nature, so it was more than worth filling a garbage bag to enjoy part of a Saturday afternoon.

miamifeatureOne of my favorite places in America is Picher, Oklahoma, a highly toxic ghost town in Oklahoma near the Kansas border. There weren’t any opportunities to volunteer there (at least none that would be safe for me to do). I stopped in Miami, Oklahoma–the next closest town–at the Stonehill Grill where I spoke with Madison who pointed me in the direction of a local park. Another day outside, picking up trash, enjoying nature, and feeling good about the world.