Skip to main content

“Box Out Hunger” in Toledo

by Ashley LaFountain
2013 Legacy Scholar, University of Toledo

As part of Elks Scholar Service Days, I served in an event my community holds annually around Thanksgiving, “Box Out Hunger.” While I was the sole Elks scholar participating from the University of Toledo, it was truly amazing to see the impact I, along with nearly 400 other volunteers, were able to make in just a few hours.

“Box Out Hunger” is a service event put on by The Cherry Street Mission in Toledo, Ohio that aims to ensure that many Toledo-area residents can have a Thanksgiving meal. 

My group was assigned to a warehouse area of the mission and were each given our specific tasks for the remainder of the day. Collectively, we packed 18,000 meals. Tasks were divided into brown-bagging dry goods such as instant mashed potatoes, dressing, and separating turkeys into separate bags with the intention that each family received one bag of dry goods and one turkey. Once the items were bagged, more volunteers’ cars were loaded up to deliver meals to homes and some families with vouchers to receive meals at that time. My job was to unload turkeys from boxes and place them in their corresponding bags. Because the warehouse area was so open, I could see everyone performing their tasks while I played this small role as part of a much bigger picture. At the end of the event, everyone was all smiles and I was able to leave knowing I contributed to helping over 2,000 households in the Toledo-area celebrate their Thanksgiving with a nice meal.

Overall, the event was an awesome experience to work together with other students from my university, participate in Elks Scholar Service Days, and be a part of something larger than myself to help so many people in my community. In the upcoming weeks, I plan to continue the theme of holiday season volunteering by helping at the Port Clinton, Ohio, Lodge No. 1718, where I’m a member, with the annual Children’s Christmas Party. The Lodge comes together to ensure all children in the community have the opportunity to experience Christmas by providing games, snacks, crafts, and gifts for each child who comes to the event.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

For the Love of Nonprofits

by Nathan Kriha
Donor Services Coordinator
One of the most consistent passions in my life has been a love for nonprofits—especially ones that focus on education and the development of impoverished communities. This love can be traced all the way back to my high school days when my mother (quite forcibly) suggested I teach a kindergarten religious education course with her.
After my introductory class, I thought that this decision would easily be one of the biggest regrets of my life: The children would scream, cry, launch their crayons into space, tear up their books, and cry a little more. While I was initially stunned by this preliminary lesson, I witnessed my mother corral these angsty students and gradually create a heartwarming and quite soothing environment. At this moment I realized the true influence that a teacher can have on their students, and I became captivated with the study of successful teaching methods.
This interest persisted into my coursework at the University of Not…

Meaghan's First Month

by Meaghan Morris
Lodge Grants Program Coordinator

Hello! My name is Meaghan, and I am thrilled to be the new Programs Coordinator in the Community Investments Program office.
I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015. Since then, I’ve jetted around peripatetically, travelling to 46 states and 24 countries, and living in Western Massachusetts, Boston, and the mountains of rural Wyoming.  I moved to Chicago in 2016, and the Cubs won the World Series a little while later. I attribute my move as the main catalyst for the breaking of the Curse of the Billy Goat, so, you’re welcome for that, Cubs fans!
I joined the ENF during its busiest time of the year. I started working in the CIP office one day after grant applications opened for the new year, and our office was inundated with hundreds of grant applications in that first week alone. On top of the busyness in our office, Fundraising, Communications, Hoop Shoot and Scholarships were excitedly (yet gracefully!) preparin…

Back to Biloxi

by John Kavula
Elks Scholar Fellow

As the chilly fall weather crept in on Chicago, Programs Relationship Senior Associate Maryann Dernlan and I had the chance to escape to the sunny, 80-degree weather of the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a site visit in preparation for the 2019 Winter Elks Scholar Service Trip.

When I accepted the position of Elks Scholar Fellow nearly five months ago, one aspect of the position that drew me in was the opportunity to choose the location for the Elks Scholar Service Trips. When I found out that Community Collaborations International (CCI), a service organization we had worked with on a past trip, had a program in Biloxi, Mississippi, I knew that I wanted to go to a place that meant so much to me: The Gulf Coast.
Before going to college, I lived just an hour east of Biloxi in Mobile, Alabama, so I jumped at the opportunity to bring a group of Elks scholars, many of whom may have never been to the Gulf Coast, to share the experience of the place I called home …