Sunday, March 28, 2010

Event Highlight: Will Work For Food Gathers

Last weekend the WILL WORK FOR FOOD Headquarters Team took to Ann Arbor neighborhoods for a door to door food drive. Coordinating with U-M Circle K – a collegiate service organization sponsored by Kiwanis International – participants walked around neighborhoods near the University of Michigan campus collecting nonperishable food. The food collected was then given to the Ann Arbor food bank, Food Gatherers.

The group had conducted a similar work effort during the Fall semester and collected 750 pounds of food. The goal this time around was to break 1,000 pounds. On the brisk Saturday afternoon the team's goal was met and far surpassed with a total of 1,777 pounds of food collected.

Headed by Chrissy Winkler and Julie Sherbill, the food drive had about two dozen more U-M students involved through Circle K while raising money for WILL WORK FOR FOOD.

“Everyone was very enthusiastic and finished their routes completely,” said Winkler of the food drivers, “the morale was amazing.”

If you'd like to organize a similar food drive on your campus it really doesn't take too much work at all. Email information@willworkforfood.org and we'll help by giving you some tips!

If you want to know every time WILL WORK FOR FOOD posts something new to our blog, email willworkforfoodblog@gmail.com with the subject line "Sign me up."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Participant of the Week: Shelby Cashman

The WILL WORK FOR FOOD Greek Week Service Day at the University of Michigan was a huge success thanks to the incredible efforts and donations from all its participants and their supporters. Over 150 students volunteered in the Ann Arbor community and raised nearly $3,000 to fight malnutrition. Among all of the participants, one particular Sigma Kappa stands out from the crowd. Shelby Cashman, a freshman from Morristown, NJ, personally raised $1,000 with the help of a dozen sponsors! Shelby, who volunteers regularly in her community, has shown an incredible devotion to community service and the WILL WORK FOR FOOD initiative. To thank Shelby for her outstanding work, she is this week's Participant of the Week.

Q: What are you studying at Michigan?
A: I'm a Communications major with a possible minor in Greek studies. I eventually want to become involved in broadcast journalism.

Q: What else are you involved in at Michigan?
A: I'm in Sigma Kappa sorority, the Michigan Association of Communication Studies, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars here on campus.

Q: If you could meet anyone, who would it be and why?
A: I would love to meet Katie Couric. I aspire to have the incredible career she has in broadcast journalism. I would ask her about the steps she took to get where she is today (and I would follow them exactly, of course).

Q: Who is your role model?
A: My role model is my father. He grew up with not much at all and created an amazing life for me and my family. He is also one of the most intelligent (he always knows every answer to every Jeopardy question- no lie!) and charismatic people I know.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I would travel all over Greece, from Athens to the Islands. I am studying the language and really want to immerse myself in the culture and learn more about my heritage!

Q: How did you get so many people to sponsor you?
A: I got so many people to sponsor me by reaching out to all different members of the Michigan community, as well as my hometown. I told people about what we were doing for WILL WORK FOR FOOD, and everyone was really eager to help sponsor me for such an amazing cause.

Q: What exactly did you do for the service day?
A: I participated in publicity for the Ann Arbor Autism Foundation on Service Day for Greek Week. We passed out brochures about the organization to local doctor's offices to spread the word. I also volunteered at Brookhaven Nursing Home, where we threw the occupants a Valentine's Day party.

Q: What was your favorite aspect of service day?
A: My favorite thing about participating was the fact that I got to help so many different causes, all at the same time. My service efforts in the community benefit people locally, but with the addition of WILL WORK FOR FOOD's involvement, malnourished children on the other-side of the world are benefiting from my labor as well.

Q: Why did you decide to get involved with WILL WORK FOR FOOD?
A: WWFF is a one-of-a-kind program. It allows people's service efforts to benefit so many different people. Not many people realize how severe the issue of malnutrition is, and WWFF brings it to the front line. By bringing people's attention to this serious problem, WILL WORK FOR FOOD is helping the fight by making people want to not only do local community service, but get involved in a more serious global problem.

Still not a member of WILL WORK FOR FOOD? Get signed up and start working for food today!

If you want to know every time WILL WORK FOR FOOD posts something new to our blog, email willworkforfoodblog@gmail.com with the subject line "Sign me up."

High Five From WILL WORK FOR FOOD: Doctors Without Borders

The “High Five” is back by popular demand, and this installment focuses on Doctors Without Borders, our affiliate organization that helps us get life-saving nutritional supplements to severely malnourished children abroad. Doctors Without Borders was founded in 1971 by a group of physicians and journalists in France. Today, Doctors Without Borders provides medical aid in about 60 countries around the world. While many of you may be familar with Doctors Without Borders, you may not know these five interesting tidbits about the organization:

1)Doctors Without Borders (internationally recognized by it's original French name Médecins Sans Frontières or simply MSF) was the 1999 Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

2)More than 27,000 individuals may work for Doctors Without Borders in any given day

3) Donors, like WILL WORK FOR FOOD, make up 80% of the organization’s budget with corporate and government donations making up the rest.

4)During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, with the help of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders was able to keep all of the main hospitals in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, operational because the organization is politically and religiously neutral. MSF eventually had to leave Rwanda for security reasons, but the relief provided during the main part of the genocide was immeasurably helpful to those in need.

5)Doctors Without Borders uses a two-step process to treat malnutrition. The first step is a 24-hour period where basic health care is provided and the patients are given several small low energy/protein meals spread throughout the day. In the second step, the patient is medically-monitored and is given several high energy/protein meals, again spread throughout the day. The second step is repeated until the patient’s weight approaches a normal level.

As we learn more about what Doctors Without Borders does, we are able to understand why WILL WORK FOR FOOD enjoys working with them so much. Hopefully, you will decide to take a few minutes and get started on supporting these two great organizations today!

If you want to know every time WILL WORK FOR FOOD posts something new to our blog, email willworkforfoodblog@gmail.com with the subject line "Sign me up."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Event Highlight: MCSP Soccer Tournament

WILL WORK FOR FOOD reps and participants continue to organize unique and creative opportunities to get students on campus involved in the WWFF initiative. On Saturday, March 13, the Michigan Community Scholars Program (MCSP) held their first annual soccer tournament to benefit WILL WORK FOR FOOD. MCSP is a group of UofM students who are dedicated to community service, diversity, and social justice. 15 teams of students and athletes came out to play in the 4v4 soccer tournament. Each team paid a $20 entry fee and brought canned goods to donate to local food banks. With the combination of entry fees and individual donations from players and spectators, the event raised a total of $350 for WILL WORK FOR FOOD. "The tournament was awesome!" said event coordinator Emily Knowles. "Everyone really enjoyed it and expressed that they hope we'll have another one next year. The cooperation between WILL WORK FOR FOOD and MCSP was great because it brought together two great organizations who care about their fellow human beings in the world."

Thanks to MSCP for coordinating such a successful event and to all the players who came out to support WILL WORK FOR FOOD!

Want to find WWFF events on your campus? Find a work effort now!

If you want to know every time WILL WORK FOR FOOD posts something new to our blog, email willworkforfoodblog@gmail.com with the subject line "Sign me up."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

University of Michigan Greeks Work For Food

This past weekend, WILL WORK FOR FOOD collaborated with one of the largest student groups at the University of Michigan: Greek life. Once a year, sorority and fraternity members at the university participate in a week-long competition called Greek Week. One of the events was a WWFF-sponsored service day in which each team volunteered for one of fourteen different service projects. Over 150 Greeks participated in what campus rep Nicole Vitale called an "amazing success of a service day." Some of the projects included:

- painting rooms at the Penrickton Center for Blind Children
-distributing informational pamphlets for the Ann Arbor Autism Foundation
-blanket-making for the Ronald McDonald House
-tutoring high school students for the Jalen Rose Foundation
-working at a luncheon at the Glacier Hills Retirement Home

In partnering with Greek Week, WILL WORK FOR FOOD not only provided numerous great opportunities for students to volunteer, but it also helped spread the word about WWFF. Says Vitale, "By incorporating WWFF into Greek Week, UofM greeks are able to help multiple charities at once. This also raises awareness about WWFF and will hopefully spark longtime volunteers and commitment to WWFF." The WWFF/Greek Week service day is a great example of how creative collaborations with other organizations and events is a great way to spread WWFF and its initiative across campus and reach a large number of students at once. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make this year's service day such a success!

It's not too late to sponsor a Greek Week volunteer! Sponsor one now!

If you want to know every time WILL WORK FOR FOOD posts something new to our blog, email willworkforfoodblog@gmail.com with the subject line "Sign me up."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Great Divide Benefit Concert This Friday

This Friday, the Ann Arbor-fostered, Chicago-based roots-rock band, Great Divide, will be making an appearance in its old stomping grounds. Making matters even more exciting, the great musicians that make up the Great Divide are performing in honor of WILL WORK FOR FOOD at BTB Cantina (1140 S. University Ann Arbor, MI). The benefit concert starts at 9:30pm and everyone is encouraged to get there early to soak in the great atmosphere.

According to the band, their music is “steeped in the traditional roots of blues, country, soul, funk, and good, ol’ fashioned rock ‘n roll.” Influenced by Blues legend, Muddy Waters in addition to some of that timeless Motown sound, Great Divide comes out sounding like modern blues-rock backed by Otis Redding-esque horns. With performance experience all over the country – they will be travelling to Austin, TX to play at the well-known South By Southwest music festival in two weeks – these former Wolverines are looking forward to playing for a big U-M crowd once again. Get a taste of their tunes at http://www.myspace.com/greatdividelive .

Donations for WILL WORK FOR FOOD will be taken at the door. In true WWFF fashion, Great Divide hopes that by performing locally, they will be able to help raise funds to make a difference globally. See you there!

Great Divde WWFF Benefit Concert
(invite your friends)
Date: Friday, March 12
Time: 9:30pm
Location: BTB Cantina 1140 S. University Ann Arbor, MI

If you want to know every time WILL WORK FOR FOOD posts something new to our blog, email willworkforfoodblog@gmail.com with the subject line "Sign me up."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reps of the Week: University of Wisconsin-Madison

A few weeks ago, we featured Amy Verhey as our Rep of the Week, and she told us a little about what she and the other UW-Madison reps were planning for future WWFF work efforts on their campus. The reps followed through and got creative by putting together a great bake sale that raised almost $200 for WWFF. We talked to Jamie Plzak, another Madison rep, to find out a little more about their bake sale, and here's what she told us:

Q: How did you come up with the idea for a bake sale?
A: Amy and I came up with the idea after a sorority meeting. A member of our house was having a bake sale for Haiti and we thought that it sounded like such a great idea for WWFF!

Q: Why did you decide to have a bake sale instead of a community service project?
A: We had the bake sale because we wanted to organize an effort quickly, and we figured we could pull this together faster than organizing a traditional service project. We wanted to take a more direct approach to raise money for WWFF. We knew it would be a great way to get the WILL WORK FOR FOOD name out there on campus because so may people came by the bake sale.

Q: How many people participated?
A: All the reps were there: Maryrose, Amy, and myself. There were also about 10 other people who came to help us sell throughout the day.

Q: What were everyone's attitudes like while working the bake sale?
A: Everyone's attitudes were really positive! We jokingly competed with each other about whose food looked the best, which made it really fun. It was really easy to get people to bake food for us or drop by and help sell, especially because everyone knew they were contributing to a great cause.

Q: How do you feel about the sale's success?
A: I think it was really successful! Next time we would like to have it outside during the day when the weather is nicer. I think we could definitely sell more food and get more people to sign up for WWFF at the same time.

Q: If you could describe WWFF in one word, what would it be?
A: Selfless. I can't believe how much of an impact WWFF has made in such a short time, considering how new of an organization it is. I'm honored to be a small part of that.

Thanks, Maryrose, Jamie, and Amy, for such a creative and successful work effort!

Want to get involved on your campus? Join a group and start working for food!

If you want to know every time WILL WORK FOR FOOD posts something new to our blog, email willworkforfoodblog@gmail.com with the subject line "Sign me up."