While dedicated to being the leader in free online fundraising, the YouCaring team has been working to take our philanthropic mission offline and help people outside of our crowdfunding platform too.
You may have noticed a few of our endeavors popping up in your social media feeds and on this blog: sending letters to the military, donating blood, handing out care packages to homeless people, putting change in parking meters, giving baked good to fire stations, and visiting beneficiaries of local YouCaring fundraisers (just to name a few).
Lending a Hand to Fight Hunger
Recently we went bigger and had a team volunteer day at the Alameda County Food Bank in Oakland, Calif. We didn’t know what to expect and were mildly surprised to walk into the warehouse and see that we would be sorting huge crates of peppers into produce bags to then be distributed to families in need. It wasn’t glamorous work, but it was fulfilling. The team at the food bank is very dedicated and passionate about feeding their community, and that gave us more inspiration and motivation to keep stuffing those peppers.
It was interesting to learn that this food bank provided 25 million meals last year — more than half of which was fresh fruits and vegetables. Since 2005, they have ramped up distribution of fruits and vegetables by 1000% and led the national food bank movement to ban carbonated beverages. We can definitely stand behind these endeavors to not only feed people in need, but to do so in a healthy way!
Ready for more fascinating facts? The Alameda County Food Bank serves one in five county residents, and most of these clients are children and seniors. In fact, one in three children in Alameda County faces the threat of hunger. Currently, the food bank distributes more than 2 million pounds of food every month — and plans to increase this to 90 million meals by 2018. They project that 90 million meals will provide one meal a day for every food insecure person in Alameda County. Of course, their ultimate goal is to go out of business, as they dream of hunger no longer being an issue and their services not needed.
This is just one food bank, serving one community. There are many more throughout the country that need your help, and they make it very easy to contribute!
- Organize a Food Drive
Rally your work, church, school or a community group with a fun event!
- Organize a Virtual Food Drive
Reach out to your online community for donations, and the food bank can turn every $1 raised into $6 of food. Helpful hint: YouCaring is a great platform to host your free online fundraiser.
- Food Sorting
Help sort, screen and box fresh produce and non-perishable food. This is the workload we tackled and really enjoyed it!
- Emergency Food Helpline
Work firsthand with households in need to find same-day sources of food in their neighborhood.
- Office Help
This can include mailings, phone calls, data entry, filing and special projects — all of which makes a difference.
Add your voice to the cause, attend meetings and education programs, and chip in where you can!
We know that the YouCaring team will be back in the Alameda County Food Bank Warehouse. We stand behind compassionate crowdfunding, and unleashing compassion to those around us. Our goal is to participate in a larger volunteer activity each month, in addition to our weekly compassion projects. Ideas welcome! Follow us and share on Facebook and Twitter.