Tag Archives: second harvest

When Life Throws a Curve, Head to the Lake

Days 4&5 of Virtual Walk Around the Triad to Benefit Second Harvest

Activity Day 4: When your better half has an unexpected and kinda scary medical event you don’t do anything but take care of her, so that’s what I did.
Activity Day 5: I was supposed to be in Florida helping my mom pack up her house, but due to the events of Day 4 she recruited someone else. So I made sure my better half was in solid shape and headed to Salem Lake for a walk/run.

Miles walked/run: 12.72 miles. Here’s the screenshot from my FitBit:

Miles remaining in challenge: 337.42

Today’s sponsor: Crescent Rotary Club (via my contribution. The members of this club do a tremendous amount of good for our community.

Face of Poverty in the Piedmont Triad

This article in the Greensboro News & Record has a lot of disheartening statistics:

In the past 10 years, the state (North Carolina) has gone from the 26th-highest poverty rate in the country to the 11th. One in 4 children are living in poverty.

At the same time, 1 in 5 people in the city of Greensboro live in poverty — that’s considered to be having an annual income of less than $24,000 for a family of four…

Of the Second Harvest Food Bank’s 400 partner networks, 90 are in the greater Greensboro area, including the Greensboro Urban Ministry. Second Harvest is one of a handful of regional food banks in the state.

In 2009, the group distributed 7.9 million pounds of food. This past year, the group distributed 25 million pounds of food.

You might be tired of reading about the food drive to benefit Second Harvest at my day job, but when given the state of affairs around here it would be immoral not to remind everyone that there is a readily available way to help.

Why We Help Second Harvest

At the day job we’ve been running annual food drives for Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC for ten years. Every year we try to do better than the last and so I find myself doing what appear to be silly or crazy things to gin up publicity and interest for our efforts – things like wearing a pink tutu while jumping into a pool with the word EPIC painted on my back. You may wonder why someone would do something that odd, but when you read about some of the programs that Second Harvest supports it becomes clear that a little embarrassment is the least we can do for an organization that fills a vital role for our community. Scott Sexton’s column in today’s Winston-Salem Journal brings us the story of one of those programs:

In six short months, the H.O.P.E. truck has become a staple in neighborhoods where fresh food is often a rumor.

It is part of a larger project dreamed up by Tennille and his wife, Marty, a retired couple with hearts as big as their imaginations. When they learned that children in Winston-Salem are more likely to go hungry than kids in Detroit or Chicago, they were horrified.

But instead of wringing their hands, stamping their feet in protest or simply writing a check, they decided to do something about it…

Since it started rolling in January, H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem has mushroomed into something of which the entire community should be proud.

The Tennilles pick up items from the Second Harvest Food Bank and 50-pound bags of fresh food donated by the Vernon Produce Co. during the week.

A small group of volunteers meets every Saturday in a retreat center at the Children’s Home, where they set up an assembly line to make healthy bag lunches for kids and to box up fresh produce for adults who come with them. Groups from a variety of churches assemble lunches at their buildings, too, and pack them into giant coolers so a volunteer can pick them up later.

Around noon on Sundays, more volunteers start to trickle in at The Children’s Home to load the truck and a similarly painted minivan. The entire operation runs like Swiss trains; it stops at the same places every Sunday at the same time. By the time it finishes, more than 700 children get to eat and a few dozen food boxes are distributed.

By the way if you want to help us support Second Harvest you can do so by making a donation at helpsecondharvest.com. Also, if you want to see me embarrass myself yet again you can drive by the Robinhood Court Apartments and Villas this Thursday (July 10) from 4-5 p.m. where I’ll be part of “Two Guys Wearing Prom Dresses” to raise funds for Second Harvest. You guessed it: I’ll be wearing a dress. Here’s a handy map for you find us:

I Keep Telling Myself It’ll Grow Back

 Last night will go down as one of the more unique experiences of my life.  As I've written before (probably ad nauseum) the Triad Apartment Association holds a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina each year and at the end of the drive we have an event to recognize the organizations that raised the most food.  Last night we held the event on the rooftop deck of the Nissen Building in Winston-Salem and, as promised, I had my head shaved as part of our fundraising efforts.  We threw in a last minute twist and allowed anyone who wanted to shave a stripe in my head to do so if they contributed $20 to Second Harvest.  That resulted in $140 in additional donations, which equates to about 980 meals or 1,680 cans of food.

I have to say that there's something surreal about having your head shaved in front of 50 people on a roof twenty floors up in downtown Winston-Salem.  It was definitely worth it, and for the record here's the final tally for TAA's efforts: 223,682 cans of food (or cash equivalent) donated to Second Harvest.

That's the good news, but here's the bad news: although donations are up over 50% since last year, need for assistance is up over 100%. We could have raised 500,000 cans and it wouldn't even put a dent in the need, which means it's never too late to help.  To find out how you can help visit Second Harvest's website; I guarantee you won't regret it. 

A ton of people and multiple companies made the food drive possible and if I tried to thank them all here I'd have the longest blog post in the history of blogging.  We'll be recognizing them all at the TAA website and I'll make sure to link to it when we do.

Special shout out to my barber David Sowers of Lewisville Barber Shop for making the trip downtown and making sure that my head came out unscathed.

Benefit Second Harvest and Take In a Ballgame. Also, Is Winston Better Than Greensboro?

The Triad Apartment Association (my employer) is hosting a food drive to benefit Second Harvest and one aspect of it is that we're having a competition between the Winston-Salem Dash and the Greensboro Grasshoppers to see which team/city can raise the most food for one game.  The Dash game is next Monday (July 12) and the Grasshopper game is next Wednesday (July 14).  We have slightly different arrangements for each game but the basics are that we're encouraging folks to bring food or financial donations and then stick around to enjoy the ballgame.  Here are the details:

Winston-Salem Dash, July 12

Bring food or financial donations to our table by the entrance and you'll get a voucher for a free Dash baseball cap.  Your donations will be counted towards the Winston-Salem total.

Greensboro Grasshoppers, July 14

You can bring food and financial donations to our table, and on top of that if you buy your ticket to the game from us $2 of the ticket will go to Second Harvest.  There will also be prize giveaways throughout the evening.  Your donations will be counted towards the Greensboro total.

Last year our Food Drive raised almost 210,000 cans of food and we're determined to beat that this year.  I hope to see many of you on either Monday or Wednesday!

Final note: I'd like to personally thank Mayor Joines, Mayor Knight, WXII, The Dash and The Grasshoppers for partnering with us and Second Harvest to help feed the hungry in the Triad.  Here's the commercial we all collaborated on the promote the event: