This Week we Celebrate Hunger Awareness Volunteerism!
For the week of Nov. 23, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will work in cooperation with End 68 Hours of Hunger, the Merrimack Valley Food Bank and Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries to celebrate hunger awareness volunteerism! Congratulations to our "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week" Debbie Grimard Volunteer, Merrimack Valley Food Bank
Debbie Grimard has been a volunteer in the Merrimack Valley Food Bank (MVFB) Mobile Pantry Program since 2007. She currently, works two mornings per week with MVFB preparing bags of nutritious food and health information that is distributed to homebound elderly and persons with disabilities throughout Greater Lowell.
Deb also delivers the food to some of their clients monthly, has established a rapport and relationship with them, and acts as the eyes and ears, making sure the client is safe and eating properly. Every Monday night from June to October, Deb went to the Billerica Farmer’s Market and collected the vegetables, fruits and baked goods the vendors donated at the end of the market day to the Mobile Pantry and then delivered them to the food bank. This season she collected and delivered over 4.000 pounds of food on their behalf.
Of course Deb is happy to pitch in wherever there is a need, sorting, inspecting, and stocking non-perishable food items and doing emergency food deliveries if the need arises. Deb has a tremendous heart and is passionate about helping others in the community. She is an amazing asset to MVFB’s volunteer. Deb and her husband have also contributed financially to our organization.
End 68 Hours of Hunger
The vision of End 68 Hours of Hunger is to end childhood hunger in America, one school at a time. Their mission is to confront the 68 hours of hunger experienced by some children between the free lunch they receive in school on Friday and the free breakfast they receive in school on Monday by providing a bag containing enough food for three dinners, two breakfasts and two lunches for them to eat on the weekends. Why volunteers are critical to End 68 Hours of Hunger:
There are many good reasons to volunteer, but when you volunteer with End 68 Hours of Hunger, you feed more than children, you feed the community and you feed your spirit! You are helping to end childhood hunger.
You become an inspiration; You influence others; You make a difference, to a child, and to the community; You become better connected to the world around you, and you improve that world, one child at a time; You feel better about yourself; You pay it forward; You become a recognized leader; and You share your passion with others.
But, even more than that, you gain new skills, build confidence, are recognized as a leader and you grow and expand your horizons. Volunteer Opportunities:
- Weekly packing and distributing of food backpacks.
- Weekly or monthly organizing and shelving donated food.
- Organizing and volunteering at charity events including food drives and road races.
- Daily volunteering by Program Coordinators who run each regional program.
A special shout out to Claire, Kim and Paul for their volunteer efforts at End 68 Hours of Hunger!
Claire Bloom saw a need to help end childhood hunger three years ago. With a lot of hard work she got this program off the ground filling just three backpacks the first week and growing over the past three years to now feeding over 1,100 children in 41 communities and six states. Claire is a volunteer and none of their volunteers are paid as 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to the purchase of food. Claire is always looking to expand and grow, hoping to add more schools and towns to the program, she is tireless in her efforts and has developed a wonderful organization.
Kim Army is a volunteer program coordinator for six towns in New Hampshire.
She is a highly energetic and committed volunteer, who has excelled at fundraising and at running a complex program which encompasses a wide geographic area. She has provided training for their other volunteers in fundraising, has engaged in so many “out of the box” fundraising ideas that she has been able to donate food and money to support other End 68 Hours of Hunger programs without as many resources. She is tireless, and often serves as the Second in Command for the Executive Director, also a volunteer, and she never fails to contribute great ideas to the group of volunteers who run this amazing program. She has expanded her program into the High Schools to ensure that not only the young children are provided with food to help them succeed, but also the older children as well.
Pauli Rines is a volunteer program coordinator for the Kittery ME program. Pauli heard a presentation about End 68 Hours of Hunger and immediately took on the challenge of providing a program for the children of Maine. She was the first to reach out to expand the concept beyond the original program in Dover NH, and so she had to blaze all the new trails to ensure that what could be done in one location could also be done in another. As a result of the learning the organization experienced through this adventure we have grown to include programs in six states and are feeding more than 1000 children each weekend. She is a tireless advocate for hungry children, and is a champion for End 68 Hours of Hunger.
Merrimack Valley Food Bank
The Merrimack Valley Food Bank (MVFB) is a community-supported 501C-3 non-profit organization that provides nutritious food and personal care items to emergency feeding programs serving the low-income, homeless and hungry. They are one of four food banks in Massachusetts that serves food pantries, shelters and meal programs that in turn, serve individuals and families.
The focus of MVFB is to help meet a person’s most profound need — adequate nutrition and freedom from hunger. Only through cooperative efforts can society initiate change develop strategies to alleviate hunger and work toward the well-being of all people.
It is a basic human need to have adequate access to an environment conducive to well-being, which includes food, shelter and clothing. For most people, food is readily available at nearby stores. The ease with which food can be acquired can make people take for granted how vital food is to our well-being.
In addition to providing emergency food relief to the community, MVFB strives to partner with organizations that share their vision for accessibility to healthy food by all people, everywhere.
MVFB would not be able to do what they do if it was not for the members of their volunteer team. The volunteers fill bags with food (enough for 30 meals per month) and distribute them to homebound elderly & disabled individuals (300+) in the Greater Lowell Area through the Mobile Pantry Program, bags are also filled and distributed to students in partnership with the Lowell Public Schools, food meant to get the student through the weekend as part of MVFB’s Operation Nourish Program. Every day there are volunteers sorting, inspecting and stocking food that is donated from members of the community and distributed through a network of hunger relief organizations to 70,000 individuals per month. Volunteer Opportunities:
- Filling Bags for their Operation Nourish children’s feeding program
- Sorting, Inspecting, and Stocking non-perishable food donated through community food drives
- Assisting staff at their Community Market distributing food (Seasonal July-October)
- Delivering groceries for the Mobile Pantry Program – to homebound elderly in the greater Lowell area (Requires CORI)
- Participating in their 2 Pantry Raid – Neighborhood Food Drives (March & September)
To learn more, please visit www.mfvb.org
We thank Dick and Jessi for their volunteer work at the Merrimack Valley Food Bank!
Dick Maloney has spent 6-8 hours a week over the past three years at the Merrimack Valley Food Bank’s warehouse organizing their shopping area, sorting, stocking and inspecting. He has devised and implemented a method for better storing and sorting food in the storage area, which helped to rotate stock more efficiently. Dick is happy to help wherever he is needed and acts as a mentor/supervisor to other volunteers; guiding and training them. Additionally he regularly makes monetary donations to our programs.
Jessi Jaramillo is a senior at Lowell High School where he is also Treasurer of the Class of 2015 and plays varsity soccer. Jessi has worked in every area of the food bank, sorting, inspecting and stocking, he assisted in preparing materials for a city wide food drive conducted in Lowell, he worked in the warehouse assisting our shoppers and loading their vehicles and attended the Community Market distributing food. At a very young age it is obvious that he has a heart for giving; he spearheaded and lead a committee of students at LHS to raise $50,000 to repair the schools antique clock, composing the letter to businesses and alumni and speaking in front of the Lowell City Council to raise the necessary funds.
Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries
Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries' mission is to help individuals with barriers to self-sufficiency to achieve independence and dignity through work. Not charity, but a chance. Why volunteer for Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries:
- Volunteers put together the 220 Thanksgiving dinner baskets Goodwill gives out with the help of the Patriots.
- The baskets provide a healthy, homemade Thanksgiving dinner to nearly 1,000 people served by Goodwill.
- 75 volunteers also serve another 300 individuals dinner at Goodwill Headquarters the day before Thanksgiving.
Goodwill offers volunteer opportunities throughout the year through its partnerships with local corporations and community groups. Among the volunteer opportunities are:
- Clothing Collaborative for Job Trainees: Corporate groups serve as “personal shoppers” and “stylists” for newly trained job seekers as they select an interview outfit from racks of donated clothing.
- Youth Holiday Party: Businesses and community organizations host toy drives and wrap presents.
- Put Your Clothes to Work Clothing Drive: Businesses around the Boston area host clothing drives to collect professional attire to outfit 500 job seekers annually.
For more information on these opportunities or to have your group get involved, contact Erin Flaherty Barfield email@example.com
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and Morgan Memorial thank Travis, Kathy and Diane for their dedicated volunteer efforts!
Since 2004, Nicky Bronner has volunteered at Goodwill’s Roxbury headquarters with his family on the day before Thanksgiving to serve a turkey dinner with all of the fixings to 300 Goodwill program participants--individuals who might otherwise not have the chance for a holiday meal. Goodwill has witnessed young Nicky grow and change over 10 years, but one constant is Nicky’s dedication to serving others and ensuring they do not go without on Thanksgiving. One year, youngsters Nicky and his brother Kris brought along bills and coins of their own money to make a donation of $213.13 to Goodwill. Nicky has also partnered with his father and brother to create Unreal Brands candy, which brings to life his vision of "unjunking" snack foods and offering healthier alternatives. Nicky Bronner is a true difference maker.
The Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism
The Celebrate Volunteerism initiative aims to share examples of dedicated volunteers, build awareness of the need for volunteering, identify and educate others about volunteer opportunities and inspire New Englanders to follow the Kraft family's example of becoming a lifelong volunteer.
Throughout the season, the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will celebrate volunteers that work tirelessly to support children and families in need throughout the New England region, while also encouraging Patriots fans to get involved in their communities. From animals and arts to military and homelessness, the foundation will have different weekly focuses throughout the season. Each week, the Kraft family and foundation recognizes one outstanding volunteer as the "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week."
Fifteen outstanding volunteers will be named as a Patriots Difference Maker of the Week and are recognized at Patriots Community Tuesday events. During the players one day off, they can be found out in the community at a nonprofit organization based around the weekly theme. Current and former Patriots players will interact with children and families each week and present the Patriots Difference Maker of the Week with an award. Patriots cheerleaders, mascot Pat Patriot and families of Patriots players and coaches will also be actively involved in the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative throughout the season.
The Kraft family and foundation encourage all Patriots fans to join us! Celebrate Volunteerism activities include the opportunity for fans to pledge volunteer hours and submit photos of their own "Patriots Difference Maker" certificates. Patriots' fans from around the world can send along their photos that will be used on our website. Each week, the foundation will also post volunteer opportunities that are available with our partnering nonprofit organizations.
Be sure to check back here throughout the season for the most up to date information on the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.
2014 Celebrate Volunteerism Weekly Schedule
To view the 2013 Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, click here