Thursday, March 27, 2014

WWFF and Volunteering

In a school of 40,000+ students, it may be intimidating to find the right volunteering opportunity. From a personal perspective, I always had an idea of what kind of volunteering opportunities that interested me. However, with so many organizations on campus, I had a difficult time starting the search process as well as narrowing down the potential options. Similar to many other schools, there is always some kind of volunteering opportunity that somewhat aligns with a student's interests. If there is not that strict alignment, there is room to start one’s own organization.

The easiest place to start is by looking on your school’s organization page. Through filtering options and just doing own research, you are bound to find several volunteering clubs of interest. Through personal experiences and hearing other’s path, the most effective advice is just to go through the process. Figuring out what you like and what you don’t should not be a stressful process. Rather it should be a fun and engaging experience. Freshman who come into the university have this expectation that they are supposed to discover everything that works for them right away. It is through positive and negative experiences that help an individual discover where they are supposed to be. This process is throughout a college experience and never just a one-time decision made during freshman year. Most of the times the result is never expected/planned. The research and actually going through the process is something that should be a fun experience.

Some national organizations that are great volunteering opportunities for WWFF are listed below:

  • Dance Marathon: A nationwide movement raising money for Children’s Miracle Network hospital in their community. Students spend the school year holding different events to raise money that contributes to their end goal. The end goal is an extremely rewarding experience with a 12-40 hour-long event where the students stay on their feet to raise awareness of their goals and achievements.
  • Habitat for Humanity: A non-profit organization whose mission statement is that everyone deserves a safe and affordable home to live. They engage in projects to build and repair houses using volunteer labor and donations.
  • Best Buddies: An organization that pairs up people with disabilities with college students to form one-on-one friendships. Every month there is a chapter event and an individual event to further a deeper connection and understanding of each other.
  • Autism Speaks: Through campus and local awareness, students hold fundraising efforts to improve awareness of families and individuals affected by autism.
  • Divest and Invest: Students run efforts to expand awareness for clean energy solutions in everyday life.

Remember there is always an opportunity out there! If not, start your own!

-Sylvia Lorenzini

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Clinton Global Initiative

Three members of the WWFF Headquarter team will be attending the Clinton Global Initiative at Arizona State University this weekend. 

Here is a little background information on the conference:
Will Work For Food went national after founder Steve Weinberg attending a Clinton Global Initiative for Universities (CGIU) conference in April at Miami University. Weinberg had the opportunity to speak to Clinton and spread word about WWFF. President Bill Clinton founded Clinton Global Initiative in 2005 along with his White House partner, Doug Bank. The mission statement is a simple one: to turn ideas into action. How can something so simple be turned into such a successful non-partisan organization? The people who attend these meetings are no ordinary people. Rather they are the global leaders such as heads of state, Nobel Prize laureates, leading CEOs, heads of foundations, philanthropists; people who have a passion in their work and seek to do greater good. The initiative of this foundation is to have these leaders convene to create innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. 

The Resources: These people are the world’s most passionate leaders. To get to their current position, they had a goal to help some part of the world. With their knowledge, experience, and resources, each of them offers a different perspective. Putting these perspectives in the same room each September leads to commitments to make the world a better place.  Their resources such as connections, knowledge, funding, and the collaboration between these leaders can result in immense and measurable results.

The Model: The CGI model focuses on four main ways:  Inspiration, networking, knowledge building, and collaboration. Through these ways, members commit themselves to address global challenges. Taking into account their background and resources, they have the chance to create meaningful ideas and turn these ideas in fruition. 

The Impact:

  • CGI members have made nearly 2,500 commitments
  • Improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries
  • When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $87.9 billion.
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

History of WWFF

Steve Weinberg, founder of WWFF, was listening to a speech from President Bill Clinton discussing the idea that our generation has daunting challenges of fighting infectious diseases and delivering clean water to areas of the world that need it. With this push, and mentioning the tools that our generation has access to that weren’t available in the past, including the Internet and media, we have the power to change the circumstances. Clinton also mentioned that our generation has to be aware of these international crises but can’t forget about the immediate needs in our local communities, such as education. Steve wanted to connect the two ideas and make things possible for people in need.

Childhood malnutrition is a serious problem that is under the radar and needs attention, as it is known as the silent killer. He states this is because many people don’t directly know someone affected with malnourishment, unlike cancer or other diseases prevalent in the United States. Over five million children die every year, about one every six seconds, of childhood malnutrition. Steve wanted to bring attention to this problem in addition to helping local communities. This sparked the idea of Will Work For Food, serving in your local community, translating to aid being sent to these children abroad that need it the most.