Rachel at my office put together a nice video of our Food Drive Finale, including me being sheared like a lamb:
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.
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:
Here's the deal: the organization I work for (Triad Apartment Association) has kicked off its annual food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of NW NC. For the past several years we've hosted an event at a Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game and invited the public to bring cans of food to contribute to Second Harvest. This year we've stepped it up and are hosting an event at the Winston-Salem Dash game on July 12 and the Greensboro Grasshoppers game on July 14 and we're holding a contest to see which game will raise more food/money for Second Harvest.
As part of our efforts WXII has agreed to partner with us and both Mayor Joines (W-S) and Mayor Knight (GSO) have filmed public service messages that will run on WXII as part of our efforts. Obviously we're most thankful to the mayors, the Dash, the Grasshopper and WXII for working with us on this effort.
If you'd like to participate you can do so in several ways:
- Attend one of the games and bring food or financial donations ($1 = 12 cans of food)
- Drop off cans of food at one of our participating apartment communities (see the map below, or the list on the TAA website).
- If you'd like to mail in a donation you can send it to TAA at 3407 West Wendover Ave., Suite E, Greensboro NC 27407. Checks should be made out to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC
- An added bonus: if you want to donate a couple of bucks just write "Shave Jon's Head" in the memo field of any check, or on a cover note with the donation, and if we get $1,000 with that note then I'll have my head shaved.
I hope to see you all at one of the ballgames!
Winston-Salem/Kernersville Drop Off Locations
View 2010 TAA Food Drive W-S Drop Off Locations in a larger map
Greensboro/High Point Drop Off Locations
Anyone who's been watching WXII this week knows that they're making a serious push to raise food for Second Harvest so that kids won't go hungry this summer. One of their morning show members, Kenny Beck, has been doing goofy stuff like the chicken dance in exchange for financial donations. I asked him via Twitter what it would take to get him to shave his head and he said $1,000. When I indicated I might be serious he said he was too, and we agreed to a low setting on the clippers (not bald, but pretty short).
This dovetails nicely with the food drive that my office is doing for Second Harvest and I thought that if Mr. Beck has the guts to do it, then so should I. So here's the deal:
- If you want to donate to Second Harvest please contact me via email at jon.lowder AT gmail.com and coordinate the donation with me. Once we amass $1,000 I'll arrange to get it to Kenny and we'll get his head shaved.
- Once we pass the $1,000 mark for donations I'll start adding to the tally for TAA's food drive. If you tell me you're donating in hopes of getting me to shave my head then once we reach another $1,000 I'll get my head shaved too (most likely a high and tight like the Marines). I'll post pictures on this blog, my Facebook profile, Twitter, and anywhere else. It won't be pretty, but it's for a good cause. BONUS FEATURE: The largest single donor actually gets to do the hair cutting on me (can't offer that up for Kenny).
So that's it. If you want to see Kenny Beck and me get our heads shaved then email me at jon.lowder AT gmail.com, or call me at (336) 899-0238 to arrange donations. You can also simply mail a check made out to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and write "Make Kenny and Jon Shave Their Heads" in the memo field and mail it to me at:
Triad Apartment Association/Attn. Jon Lowder
3407 West Wendover Ave., Suite E
Greensboro, NC 27407
Of course you can mail it directly to the Food Bank, but if you want it to be counted towards our impending baldness you need to send it to me so I can keep track of our progress.
Also, I've also set up my very first Facebook group for the cause. If you visit it you can see one of the worst pictures ever taken of me Photoshop'd to show me bald. Like I said, it's gonna be ugly.
From the day job: TAA's team was honored to be presented with a Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service (Forsyth County) in the "Team" category at a breakfast at Salemtowne this morning. There were also winners in six other categories and it was a true pleasure to be surrounded by so many people doing incredible things for their community. A big thanks to The Children's Home for nominating us for the project. Here's a couple of pics:
Kind of cool shot of the program
Kim Underwood wrote a nice article for the Winston-Salem Journal about TAA's Labor of Love project at The Children's Home. As I wrote before, this is one of the most amazing projects I've ever been involved with and I think the article really helps explain why:
The cottage is needed because last Sept. 1, the Children's Home took over the operation of Opportunity House, a nine-bed emergency shelter for young people on Brookstown Avenue. The shelter had been run by the Youth Opportunities organization.
"The intention from Day One was to move that facility on campus," said George Bryan, the president and chief executive of the Children's Home…
When the Children Home agreed to take over the shelter, Bryan estimated that it could take $150,000 to renovate the 10,000-square-foot Stultz Cottage. With no money available, immediate action wasn't possible.
Along came Marc Crouse, a member of the apartment association who volunteers at the home and is in the process of adopting a young person who has been living there. When he approached Bryan about the association doing something at the home for this year's "Labor of Love" project, Bryan thought that fixing up the cottage for the program would be just the thing.
"From the first, we are considering this a miracle," Bryan said.
This weekend was the kick off for a project that I'm already sure will be one of the highlights of my career. The organization I work for, Triad Apartment Association, is doing it's annual Labor of Love project and this year it really is audacious. We're taking on a three story building at The Children's Home that has been vacant for over 25 years and fixing it up so that it can be used to house children that the Home serves. The project includes cleaning and painting every room, installing new carpet, replacing outlets and light switches, repairing all plumbing fixtures, re-glazing all bathroom tiles, replacing/repairing floor tiles, repairing and refinishing a parquet floor, removing an interior wall from one room, installing new appliances, installing 9 new ceiling fans, repairing exterior woodwork, providing new furniture and installing new landscaping. What makes it so incredibly rewarding is that all of the materials, time and money have been donated by companies and individuals involved with TAA, and even more remarkably, people in the community who somehow heard about it and volunteered to help.
We're getting all this done in four days, Feb 12-13 and 19-20, which you'd think would be impossible until you consider that on the 12th we had over 70 people show up to help and on the 13th we had over 90. We're expecting just as many, if not more, next weekend. We had so many people that we had enough to go out and do other projects on The Children's Home grounds.
One of our volunteers is a woman who grew up at The Children's Home and lived in the building that we're working on. I can't even describe the feeling of standing in a room with her as she painted a window and told a story about her first night at the Home spent in that very room and how it changed her life. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
There aren't words appropriate enough to describe what all of these volunteers have given The Children's Home, so to those of you who have participated please accept these humble words: Thank you! If you would like to help with The Labor of Love you still can and please feel free to shoot me an email if you're interested. Otherwise there is always a need for volunteers at The Children's Home and there's plenty of information on how to help at their website.
This actually has to do with my day job. The Triad Apartment Association (TAA) is gearing up for it's annual Labor of Love and this year we'll be working with The Children's Home to fix up a building that's been vacant for over 25 years so that it can be used as transitional housing for kids who turn 18.
As things currently stand when a child turns 18 they are pretty much on their own. I don't know about you, but if I'd been left to my own devices at 18 I would have been in a world of hurt. The Children's Home envisions taking this refurbished building and using it as a place to temporarily house the 18 year-olds while they learn how to make their way in the world.
The TAA is going to take several teams of volunteers to clean up, paint, fix the landscaping and make repairs to the building over two weekends in February. We're in the process of organizing our teams and gathering supplies for the project. To give you an idea of the scope of this project we anticipate using a minimum of 200 gallons of paint and having dozens of volunteers on site at any given time.
One of the most exciting aspects of this project is that we keep getting donations and volunteers by word of mouth even though we haven't really been pushing it to this point. I can't tell you how many calls we've gotten from "friends of friends" who want to know how they can get involved. What I've been telling them is that we will happily take donations of supplies, or money (financial donations go directly to The Children's Home for the project), to help with the project. If we get a duplication of donations, say for kitchen appliances, then we've been assured that The Children's Home can find a use for them. If you have any interest in helping out please feel free to contact our office at (336) 294-4428 or visit our web page about the project here.
I wasn't yet at TAA when we did the 2009 Labor of Love so I'm REALLY stoked about this year's project.