Friday, November 27, 2009

Event Highlight: Piedmont Wildlife Center Project at University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

On Saturday, November 21, the WILL WORK FOR FOOD team at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill kicked off their most successful event yet: the Piedmont Wildlife Center Project. The group of UNC students spent the day helping out around the center and, with the sponsorship support of their families and friends, raised nearly $400.

Peter Helvie and Ben Vollmer, our Campus Reps for UNC, wanted to bring WILL WORK FOR FOOD to their campus because they like how the initiative approaches a global problem differently than other organizations. “I like WILL WORK FOR FOOD because a lot of organizations are just about raising money to help foreign crises. With WILL WORK FOR FOOD I’m able to do this by fundraising to fight child malnutrition abroad and at the same time I can also do something to help my immediate community.”

Peter and Ben expect WILL WORK FOR FOOD to continue to grow and be successful at UNC-Chapel Hill thanks to all of the motivated, enthusiastic students on campus. “After hearing about WILL WORK FOR FOOD’s cause, many students who were already involved in community service were completely sold and immediately went to the WILL WORK FOR FOOD website to sign up and make their profiles,” said Peter.

Keep up the great work UNC!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

WILL WORK FOR FOOD gives thanks

We hope you're having a nice Thanksgiving break. In the spirit of the holiday, we encourage you to take a minute to think about just how much we have to be thankful for in our lives.

Being able to enjoy a delicious meal in the company of family and friends is a privilege that millions of severely malnourished kids around the world lack. If you haven’t had a chance yet, you can watch our video (below) to get a sense of just how badly these kids need our help.

WILL WORK FOR FOOD has a great deal to be thankful for over the past year. First and foremost, our 993 participants that have volunteered in their local communities and their friends and family that have sponsored this work with generous donations that help us fight child malnutrition abroad.

We’ve also been fortunate enough to gain some powerful support over the past year. Last fall Google awarded us one of their online marketing grants worth the equivalent of $10,000 per month in advertising. In February we were recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative for Universities and traveled to Austin, Texas to present WILL WORK FOR FOOD to students from around the world. In the spring we were chosen as an International Semifinalist in the Dell Social Innovation Competition and we currently have over 30 passionate Campus Reps bringing WILL WORK FOR FOOD to their respective schools around the country. And of course, none of this would have been possible without our Principle Contributors that have funded our work.

During this holiday season there are an increasing number of people that have less and need more. Local thrift stores are challenged to keep items on their racks and soup kitchens have lines out the door. To make matters a bit more daunting, child malnutrition in other regions of the world is expected to drastically increase as funding for international aid programs are cut.

So rather than thinking about what we might need or want during the holidays, we encourage everyone to enjoy and appreciate all that we have. And if you have a little extra that you can spare--whether it’s time to volunteer, money to donate, or any other resources--we'd love to have your continued support.

Thanks and have a great holiday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

High Five From WILL WORK FOR FOOD: first installment

On our new blog, we’re going to be giving readers a “high five” every week. Think of it as our take on a Top Ten list--half the reading and twice the punch. We’ll give you our five favorites for all types of topics: community service ideas, the top schools involved in WWFF, fund-raising ideas, newest participants, etc. We’ll also give you a look into the WILL WORK FOR FOOD Team from time to time with our five favorite bands or movies at the moment.

We figured that we’d start on a bit of a more serious seasonal note. As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, we are often reminded how much we take for granted and how important it is to give back to our communities. Below are five suggestions for how you can help those in need in your community and make this Thanksgiving a bit more meaningful.

1. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

2. Collect canned food in your neighborhood with some friends and donate it to a local food bank.

3. Check out your closet to see if you have any clothes, coats, hats or gloves that you could pass on to the Salvation Army or local thrift store.

4. Rake leaves for an elderly neighbor.

5, Donate any books you’ve already read or gently used appliances to a local shelter.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Group Highlight: University of Michigan Circle K

Circle K is a service organization that provides a wide variety of service opportunities to college students interested in volunteering. There are Circle K chapters around the world, and the University of Michigan is fortunate enough to have one of the largest and most active chapters.

On Saturday, November 14th, the University of Michigan's Circle K chapter partnered with WILL WORK FOR FOOD for “Circle K Service Day,” a volunteer event in which participants had the opportunity to spend the entire day working together on a variety of service projects.

Projects included:
-A food drive that collected 759 pounds of food.
-Planting trees in Detroit.
-Sending letters to sick kids through the Make-a-Child-Smile organization.
-Making blankets for veterans.
-Serving lunch at a nursing home.

The Numbers:
-1,536 dollars raised by Service Day volunteers for WILL WORK FOR FOOD.
-397 people volunteered throughout the day.
-77 different projects throughout campus and the Ann Arbor community.
-2,004.5 hours of service provided to the community.

“Service Day was definitely one of our most successful projects,” said Alli Schaffner, Circle K’s Vice President. Since Circle K is already involved in local volunteering, Schaffner said “partnering with WILL WORK FOR FOOD was really easy. It’s really a great organization to collaborate with. We’re definitely looking forward to working with them more in the future.”

Circle K decided to get involved with WILL WORK FOR FOOD because they knew child malnutrition is “an important cause that motivated Circle K members. It is such a large problem globally and an issue that everyone should definitely be more aware of,” said Schaffner.

Great work, Circle K! Thanks for getting involved.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Campus Rep Birthday Shout Out

We'd like to wish a very happy birthday to Ellice Tan, our University of Texas Campus Rep.

Ellice is a Sophomore at UT, where she's majoring in Chemistry and taking pre-pharmacy classes. She also plays on the women's lacrosse team and has an impressively diverse taste in music (everything from the Beatles to Girl Talk to Tchaikovsky).

Ellice originally decided to help spread WILL WORK FOR FOOD to UT "because of the unique model that allows students to have impact on their own communities while fighting child malnutrition abroad."

Ellice has already introduced the WILL WORK FOR FOOD initiative to dozens of students at the University of Texas where they have raised nearly $300 in the past month.

Check out the University of Texas group page to find out more about Ellice's work so far.

Thanks for helping us spread WILL WORK FOR FOOD to UT, Ellice! Have a great Birthday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Participant of the Week: Dan Friedman

WILL WORK FOR FOOD aims to stimulate local community service while raising relief funds to fight child malnutrition.

Dan is a freshman at the University of Michigan from Cross River, New York. He is a business school hopeful and an active member on the Circle K fundraising committee, a local service organization in Ann Arbor.

Q: What else are you involved in?
A: I'm a pledge for Sigma Pi fraternity and a member of Jewish Greek Council through University of Michigan Hillel. I'm also the Director of Marketing and a contributor for ThaGoodLifeReviews.com, a hip-hop music blog. I got to interview Mike Posner for it.

Q: What’s your favorite song?
A: My favorite song is “Up Up & Away” by Kid Cudi.

Q: Tell us something interesting or unique that you’ve done.
A: I used to play for my high school's ultimate frisbee team. Our team, John Jay Air Raid, finished 2nd in the New York State Ultimate Frisbee Tournament.

Q: What are your career plans?
A: My career plans, for now, are to succeed in my academics, make a difference in the Ann Arbor community, and have fun at the same time.

Q: How did you find out about WILL WORK FOR FOOD?

A: I heard about WILL WORK FOR FOOD from my Circle K fundraising committee chairwoman. She's a great leader and highlighted this opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause.

At first, I was unaware of what WILL WORK FOR FOOD was. After reading through the website, I'm happy to be raising money through my local volunteer work and helping a greater cause on the other side of the world.

Q: What specifically are you doing for your work effort
A: For my work effort, I'm volunteering at Circle K Service Day in which our organization at the University of Michigan organizes 24 hours of service projects that are open to all UofM students to participate in. We’ll volunteer for a variety of causes all around Ann Arbor.

Q: How have you found sponsors and raised money so far?

A: I have raised my money by sending emails to my close friends and family. I personalized the emails to mention my own opinion about the importance of this cause and my relationship with the friends and family.

Q: Why are you interested in helping and participating in WILL WORK FOR FOOD?

A: I really like that one-hundred percent of the money raised helps your affiliate organization, Doctors Without Borders, purchase and distribute nutritional supplements to severely malnourished children. I've read in the news that child malnutrition is a large problem globally and I was excited that I found a direct way to help raise money for such a worthy cause.

Q: If you could describe WILL WORK FOR FOOD in one word, what would it be?
A: Service.