Thursday, January 20, 2011

WWFF Participant Spotlight: Lauren Yaffe

This past Monday (1/17/2011), schools, workplaces, and many other activities and establishments took a break to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This federal holiday is at times viewed as "just another excuse to get a day off," but since 1994, it has been much more than that. When then-President Bill Clinton signed off on King Holiday and Service Act, MLK Jr. Day became (to many) Martin Luther King Day of Service.

The idea of having a day of service every year in mid-January has been a great way to honor Dr. King and his ideas of nonviolent activism. WILL WORK FOR FOOD has always been a great supporter of MLK Service Day and we would like to honor one member who has continually done an excellent job raising money for the WWFF cause through Service Day work efforts.

Lauren Yaffe heard about WILL WORK FOR FOOD from her cousin, co-founder Steve Weinberg. She was automatically inspired by WWFF's slogan: Volunteering locally to help children globally.

"I think that donating to sponor someone's work effort is a really ingenious idea," Yaffe said, "[It]is a strong motivator for people to donate because their money is turning into action!"

This past MLK Service Day, Lauren raised $515 in the fight against child malnutrition, bringing her to an impressive 3-year Service Day total of $1,010!

"Dr. King believed that giving back to the community was crucial and this day is to honor his legacy," added Yaffe.

During past MLK Service Days, Yaffe has taught at an after-school program intended to educate children on Martin Luther King, Jr. and diversity, created murals and paintings for a elementary school on the South Side of Chicago, and - most recently - volunteered at a homeless shelter on Chicago's North Side organizing clothing donations for the homeless.

When it is not MLK Service Day, Lauren Yaffe likes to volunteer through Chicago Cares and has attended several professional networking events that allow her to merge her business interests with philanthropy. For example, she attended a charitable networking event for a law firm where the attendees assembled gift bags that were sent to the Battered Women's Shelter.

Lauren Yaffe's involvement has been inspiring and is a perfect demonstration of how powerful the WILL WORK FOR FOOD model can be. According to Yaffe, her secret to success is something we are all capable of: taking pride in what you do. While she has never been shy in asking for donations from family, friends, and co-workers, Yaffe has made it a point to always personalize her messages to let everyone know exactly how she is involved.

"Volunteering in the community is truly a way of giving back to society and focusing your time and energy on an initiative that is close to your heart. Also, any time you can give is better than nothing, whether it is once a year, once a month or once a week," Yaffe said, "Volunteering doesn't have to be a full day affair - any time that someone can give is better than nothing and will make a difference.

Would you like to make a difference? Have a minute? Get involved with WILL WORK 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."