Girls Rock NC
Amazing time volunteering with Girls Rock NC 10 Year Rally. So much music, art, design, and an astounding sense of community. It was an absolute joy to help document the day.
More about Girls Rock North Carolina (from their website):
Girls Rock NC is an organization in central North Carolina that works to empower girls, women, & folks of marginalized genders—through creative expression—to be confident & engaged members of their communities. We accomplish this by focusing on creativity, confidence and collaboration.
In our thirteen years of programming, GRNC has held nearly 100 music programs for girls in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh. Our campers have gone on to perform in successful bands and have even take on leadership roles at camp. GRNC has roughly 120 active volunteers and a growing number of partners, sponsors, musicians, parents, activists, and mentors working together to build stronger communities.
GRNC is committed to social justice and seeks to amplify the voices of those traditionally marginalized. GRNC is an anti-racist and LGBTQIA+-inclusive and affirming organization and strives to provide a safe, visible atmosphere for all.
Girl Rock NC on the web:
When we started this project, one of the goals was to make sure to work with our existing framework of friends scattered across the country. Today we rolled into the Charlottesville, Virginia area and met up with Raven Mack. Together, we collected supplies for The Haven, a homeless shelter and services provider in Charlottesville.
More about The Haven (from their website):
The Haven is a multi-resource day shelter for people facing homelessness in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia.
We provide respite services for people who are homeless, or living in extreme poverty in our community, as well as supportive case management for guests who are eligible for programs to help get them back into stable housing.
Being homeless is a state of transition for most of our guests. We provide respite for the weary and transformation for the ready.
The Haven on the web:
We stopped by Manna Meal to help serve lunch with the absolutely awesome team there. Huge thank you to Leslie, Camellia, and Jean for all of their graciousness and love and for all of the work they’re doing in their community. We’re so blessed to have spent time with them.
More about Manna Meal (from their website):
Manna Meal Inc. (MMI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that operates a soup kitchen located inside St. John’s Episcopal Church in the heart of downtown Charleston, WV. MMI thrives through the generosity and support of our community to provide a safe haven, no questions asked. We are not a government agency and rely solely on contributions from our community and grants that we write.
We have been feeding the hungry of the Kanawha Valley since 1976. Over that period of time, we have grown from serving a single person a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bowl of soup, to a vital part of the community serving as many as 400 people each day well balanced nutritious meals.
We serve two meals a day (breakfast & lunch), 365 days a year, to individuals and families that include the homeless, mentally challenged, under-employed workers as well as people who simply cannot make ends meet.
“No questions asked,” is a cornerstone to our mission. We believe strongly that we do not need to ask any questions about your income, faith, or housing situation to feed you. Our mission is “so the hungry can eat”
Manna Meal on the web:
We stopped by Northern Kentucky University to discuss books, publishing, and current events. Thanks to all three classes for their participation and great conversation.
St. Vincent de Paul
I headed to St. Vincent de Paul in Cincinnati, Ohio to help with the food pantry. Joining me for the day was author/musician/Cincinnati native and one of my closest friends, Nathan Singer.
More about St. Vincent de Paul (from their website):
For more than 140 years, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has quietly cared for those in need throughout Cincinnati and Hamilton County. More than 900 volunteers care for people in their own neighborhoods, visiting the homes of people in need more than 7,500 each year. In addition to providing immediate help with pressing needs such as food or utilities, we operate southwest Ohio’s only Charitable Pharmacy; seven thrift stores that provide furniture, clothing and household items to people in need; a comprehensive social service office; seven food pantries including the Edyth & Carl Lindner Choice Food Pantry in the West End; and the Ozanam Center for Service Learning.
St. Vincent de Paul on the web:
We had a few extra hours in the Boston area so we headed to beautiful Providence, Rhode Island where we picked up trash at India Point Park with our social media turned real life friend, Emily and her daughter Bridget. It’s such an easy way to make a difference, enjoy nature, and have a great conversation.
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer
We volunteered at the CureSearch Walk for Children’s Cancer in Boston, Massachusetts at the Franklin Park Zoo. Our responsibilities included setting up course markers, processing registrations, and cheering on all the walkers.
More about CureSearch for Children’s Cancer (from their website):
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is a national non-profit foundation that accelerates the cure for children’s cancer by driving innovation, eliminating research barriers and solving the field’s most challenging problems. We fight every day to make treatment possible and a cure probable for the 42 children diagnosed with cancer daily. We do this in three ways:
We accelerate the cure for children at greatest risk of losing their battle with cancer by posing essential challenges to scientists and inviting teams to overcome them with novel research approaches.
We support children’s enrollment in clinical trials that have the potential to save their lives today.
We provide resources and education, so no child faces a cancer diagnosis without a fully equipped support team behind them.
Ultimately, CureSearch is working to change the odds for those children most at risk.
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer on the web:
Second Harvest Heartland
We stopped by Second Harvest Heartland in the Twin Cities to help prepare food for distribution.
Before beginning our shift in their warehouse, we were given a brief orientation including a powerful video about hunger, the challenges faced, and how Second Harvest is addressing the issue in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Thank you to Kate, Megan, Brenda, and Dan for joining us!
More about the Second Harvest Heartland (from their website):
Second Harvest Heartland works to reinvent hunger relief through leadership and innovation. As the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger relief organization, our goal is not only to help our hungry neighbors today, but to provide the means for everyone to be fed tomorrow. We’re known for distributing great amounts of food quickly and efficiently; in 2012 alone, we collected, warehoused and distributed more than 76 million pounds of food—but we’re also constantly pioneering ways to reduce waste and better use the abundant resources available in this land of plenty.
Second Harvest Heartland is a member of Feeding America, a national network of more than 200 food banks serving every state in the United States. Membership means access to millions of pounds of surplus food and grocery donations from manufacturers and producers throughout the country.
Second Harvest Heartland on the web:
Today’s trip to River Keepers in North Dakota was a first along this journey. To help create educational materials for the upcoming Red River Water Festival we spent time putting together gimp bracelets and cutting stickers that will ultimately end up with fourth graders. We also had a chance to hear about how important the Red River is specifically, but also how crucial it is that we keep our waterways and their surrounding habitats free from pollution.
We stopped by to help them with preparation of educational materials for the Red River Water Festival.
More about River Keepers (from their website):
River Keepers is a non-profit organization established in 1990 to protect and preserve the integrity and natural environment of the Red River of the North in the Fargo, ND – Moorhead, MN area. In addition, River Keepers is interested in the recreation and sustainable development uses of the Red River. River Keepers promotes a renewed vision for the Red River of the North through workshops, youth service-learning projects and advocacy. The primary goal of River Keepers is to demonstrate to the public that the Red River is an underutilized resource. River Keepers works “hand-in hand” with civic, corporate and political leaders, local watershed groups and the public at-large.
River Keepers on the web:
I stopped by The Banquet in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to help prepare and serve a meal for the local homeless community. The Banquet did something I’d never seen before — once the food was prepared, the volunteers and the guests sat down together to eat and foster community.
More about The Banquet (from their website):
Our mission is to equip volunteers to provide food and fellowship to those served through the ministry of The Banquet. We provide a safe place where people can gather, receive nourishment and experience love in action.
The Banquet on the web: