Archive for the ‘donations’ Category

Operation Feed the Children:  The Sequel

For those of you that have followed my blog(and have an excellent memory), you may recall my post about a particular day in South Africa.  On that day I approached the building project manager, Deen and asked him what I could do to help the children.  He looked at me and said “If you really want to help them and make them happy, you must get them food”.  I listened to his advice, bought and prepared lunch for all the children at the building site.

The pure joy and happiness in the children’s faces while they were eating lunch is something that still resonates with me today.  For that reason, a few weeks ago I decided to make a donation to Deen to buy the children food.  The volunteers at the site prepared the food in a similar fashion and the results were the same.  The results are best explained by an excerpt from the Projects Abroad blog below:

“Less than a year ago I had been most fortunate to be associated with a remarkable volunteer Jonathan Verpent who again donated funds for food which would be distributed to the kids at the crèche on the building site. This had been the highlight of two weeks spent at the adventures of the building project. Receiving heart-warming smiles from the children in those three days spent giving out food and drinks was the most incredible feeling that reminded me of the true happenings in the heart of the building project.”

I wish I could have been there to deliver the food in person, but the the pictures below will have to do.  Special thanks to Deen and his son Vash for putting this together and executing my idea.

Volunteers preparing lunch

Volunteers preparing lunch

1617405_217659401768188_1363330452_o

1891463_217659558434839_2064223127_o

901615_217660458434749_2120739687_o

Happy Children!

Advertisements

Link to my article in the Projects Abroad Newsletter

projects abroad news letter

I have been in sales for the past 8 years, so making phone calls is something that comes natural to me.  You may be asking..”Why is that important and what does it have to do with a deed?”  Great question!  I signed up to help make phone calls for an organization called Fresh Air Funds.  The amazing organization sends children from low income neighborhoods in NYC on free vacations/camps throughout the country. For some children, this is the first opportunity they have to leave the city.IMG957016

I arrived at the Fresh Air Fund’s office in NYC after a day of work.  There were 6 other volunteers that joined the program that night.  I was given a list of about 60 names, a script, and a bit of coaching from the team leader.  Soon after, I sat down and started calling!  It was my job to call the parents of children to remind them about the date, time, and place they needed to drop their children off for a sleep away camp.  I spent about 2 hours on the phone, going through the list and providing important details to the parents.

This particular deed may not have been the most hands on or involved deed, but it was still quite important.  The organization stays afloat because of volunteers and donations.  It does not receive any government funding.  If you would like to donate so you can help provide a great experience for a child, you can do so at the link below (I did!).

Donate Here!

image (3)

For those of you that know me or have been following my progress, you know I currently live in Hoboken, NJ.  While it is important to volunteer or give back anywhere I believe it is especially important to help in your local community.  I came across an organization called “Party with a Purpose” which was quite intriguing.  Party with a purpose is a Hoboken based “not-for-profit organization founded on the concept of producing great events to raise money for charities and bring the community together in the process”.  Since being founded in 2002, they have raised $425,000 to help those in need.

image

Me, Hollis, and Lily

image (1)

Post Race Fun

Each year for the past nine years they have held a 5k to benefit local youth charities, including the Jubilee Center and the Hoboken Boys and Girls Club.   It has grown over the years with over 1400 runners this year raising over $60,000.  I ran(walked) in the race with my friend Hollis and her younger sister.  Her sister is no stranger to walking for a cause after raising money and participating in AIDs walk earlier this year(quite admirable especially for a 14 year old!).  We finished the race in a cool 50 minutes or so while the winner finished in just over 15 minutes.  The time didn’t matter as it was a lot of fun that raised a lot of money for a great cause.

MF10379For years I heard about Alex’s Lemonade Stand and have always wanted to get involved.   For those of you that don’t know about Alex’s Lemonade stand: “Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope.”  I found out about an amazing story about a young girl raising money with Alex’s Lemonade stand and knew I had to get involved.

photo (12)

Rebekah and I at her Lemonade stand in East Brunswick, NJ

However, this story really isn’t about me.  It is about an incredible girl named Rebekah.  Rebekah lost her dear friend Tara to cancer at the age of 10.  After Tara’s tragic passing, Rebekah decided she needed to do something to honor her friend.  She started a Lemonade Stand with Alex’s Lemonade to raise money for childhood cancer.  That was 6 years ago.  Every year, since that time she has collected donations and hosted a lemonade stand in East Brunswick, New Jersey.  I made a donation, spent time at the stand, and brought in a few extra customers(my parents and girlfriend).  To date, she has raised over $8,000 with a goal of reaching $10,000 before graduating high school.

Most children that age (including myself) would not have done what Rebekah has, year after year.  It is truly admirable and inspirational.  Hearing her story and witnessing her passion gives me even more motivation to push forward to 30 Deeds and beyond.

Donate to Rebekah and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Here: http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/111351

post race

After the Race with Hollis, Kali and Reeni

The Hair of the Dog 5k at the Silver Decoy Winery in Robbinsville, NJ is a great event for runners/walkers and their four legged friends.  It is an annual 5k for people and dogs that has been running for the past 6 years.  All proceeds go towards supporting animal rescue.  I have participated in the last 3 events with my Aunts dog, Kali.  We won the event the previous two years, so I was really looking forward to winning for the third year in a row (OK…so we didn’t win but that is what I always tell Kali, so don’t tell her!).

photo (4)I arrived at the event with Kali, my girlfriend Hollis, my parents, and their dog Reeni.  Reeni happens to be a new addition to the family after she was abandoned on the streets of

Celebrating with the Winner!

Celebrating with the Winner!

Philadelphia.  We picked up our registration, t-shirt and goodie bag, and headed over to the starting line along with almost 1,000 other runners.  We completed the race in record time and Kali was able to defend her championship(I may or may not be joking 🙂 ).  After the race there was a small festival with local vendors and free wine tasting at the Silver Decoy Winery.  It was a great event for a great cause, and I can’t wait to do it again for the fourth time next year!

I was lucky enough to have a photographer from the Star Ledger cover me at the event and more photographs can be found here: NJ.com Photo Essay of Deed 19 the Hair of the Dog 5K

I can’t participate in the AIDS walk in NYC due to another deed on the same day (May 19th), so I made a donation instead. Feel free to click the link and donate to a great cause!

Donate to the AIDS walk here!