Before ANYTHING else, Happy New Year from Dewey & me!
Not only is January 1st the first day of a new year, but it is the first day of JanuAshley! I have this little habit of celebrating my birthday (January 21st!) as much as possible each year. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love receiving awesome gifts from my friends and family (gift giving and receiving is one of my major love languages), but I love celebrating my birthday because it brings friends old and new around. Having a birthday party, dinner, karaoke session, striptease lesson (27th birthday. It was a freaking riot!), movie night, etc. gives my friends and I a reason to spend time together. But yes, it became blatantly apparent last year that my birthday was definitely celebrated to the extreme, thus January being deemed JanuAshley.
This year, I want to do something a little bit different. Yes, I will still celebrate the day of my birth probably a little too much, but I want to do something outside of myself. I have been very blessed to have lived almost 29 years on this beautiful earth, and I want to find a way to pay it forward.
The wise sage Britney Spears once said, “Why don’t ya do somethin’?!”
So I am going to do something.
For each day of the month, I will highlight a different charity, some national, some local, that does good and deserves our attention. I am not asking people to spend money. I will find ways that people can support these charities other than financially. I will also research and report on questions like:
How do I know if this is actually a legit charity?
Where does my money go once it is donated?
What does it mean that my donation is “tax deductible?”
At the end of the month, I will choose one charity that speaks to me the most and donate either time or money, maybe both! I have some other ideas that will hopefully pan out over the next few weeks, but this is my scaffolding!
If there are any worthwhile charities that you think I should highlight, please let me know!! I would love to hear your personal stories and why you think it is so wonderful!
And now, on with the philanthropies!
The Mid-Ohio Food Bank
I am beginning with The Mid-Ohio Food Bank because for three years in a row, it has been voted the #1 Local Nonprofit Organization by readers of Columbus Underground, a local media enterprise focused on why Columbus is so freaking amazing.
The Mid-Ohio Food Bank opened in April 1980 and seeks to obtain and distribute food to hungry people across central and eastern Ohio. Their mission is important yet simple: “To end hunger one nourishing meal at a time and co-create a sustainable community where everyone thrives.” Since their opening, The Mid-Ohio Food Bank’s operations have flourished and they are now able to feed some 250,000 hungry Ohioans, consisting of children, the working poor, the newly unemployed, seniors, families and veterans.
After the food is received by the food bank, it is sorted, boxed, and stored in the warehouse, which can hold up to 5 millions pounds of food!!! Partnering food pantries, shelters, etc. can then use an online service to order the food they require.
Where they get their food:
Where does my money go??
You can feel confident that 95 cents for every dollar you donate to The Mid-Ohio Food Bank goes straight towards purchasing food. AAAAND!! Every dollar that you donate buys $11 in groceries or FOUR meals! So you don’t actually have to donate a lot of money to make a difference to someone. If you would rather donate time instead of money, there are numerous opportunities on the foodbank’s website; everything from sorting at the warehouse to volunteering at partnering pantries to inspecting damaged food from grocery stores that may still be safe and edible. Got a green thumb?? I certainly don’t, but if you do, you can help maintain the foodbank’s community garden! Produce from the garden can be distributed to partner agencies!
Many years ago (okay, not that many), I went with some of my fellow middle schoolers and we helped sort food at the warehouse. It was a day filled with teamwork and fun and I left feeling like I had done something good for people that need a little bit of help.
And most importantly of all, why should you give to The Mid-Ohio Food Bank? Because hunger is something that is happening in Columbus, Ohio and can be helped. I am fortunate enough to have had a delicious New Years Day lunch with my family consisting of pork, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, gravy and sauerkraut (we’re German! It’s for good luck in the new year!). I blessed to be able to decide what I am going to eat for breakfast tomorrow. A pang of hunger in my stomach results in a handful of veggies in my hand. Because I am so fortunate, and hopefully you are too, we must help those who are not. There are people supporting a family, working 2 jobs and still just barely making ends meet. Will they choose to pay the rent…or to buy groceries? A student goes to school without breakfast everyday and consistently fails his 2nd period class. There is a connection there.
How can I help? I don’t exactly know, but I can provide a strong pair of arms, a fresh set of ideas and a heart that does not feel settled by doing nothing. What about you?
All information was obtained from www.midohiofoodbank.org
Find The Mid-Ohio Foodbank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/midohiofoodbank