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

Labels

Show more

Popular posts from this blog

What is Zoom?

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation

(This is the first in a series of articles about the need for Lodges to be relevant during the pandemic. To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant.)

Every crisis seems to have its breakout star. This one has two, so far—Dr. Fauci and Zoom.
If you’re not familiar, Zoom is a remote video-conferencing tool with a free basic package. In these days of social distancing and sheltering in place, Zoom is also a godsend. At the O’Kelley household today, we had three concurrent Zoom meetings going on at one point—Meghan, me, and Jane with her Panda Room preschool pals.
In our new teleworking reality, the ENF staff has been using Zoom through Microsoft Teams for check-ins, standing meetings and impromptu discussions. These conferences have helped us stay connected and feel like we’re part of a team despite our isolation.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw on Facebook that Boonton, N.J., Lodge No. 1405 had installed its new c…

Hope in the Time of Coronavirus

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation What a difference a few weeks make. As I’m sure is the case with you, COVID-19 has upended things around here.

I’d like to take a few minutes to update you on how the pandemic has affected our staff and programs. I’ll start with the staff.

On Monday, there were 18 of us in the office. Yesterday, only five. Everyone else is working remotely from home. We’re all communicating with one another using wonderful technology. And the people at home have access to the network via work-issued laptops, as well as their work phones and email. Contacting us should be seamless for you. 

The skeleton crew in the office should shrink to four at some point this week. We are here to deal with the aspects of our work that do not lend themselves to working remotely.

You can help us further reduce our numbers. If you are a Lodge officer or ENF Fundraising Chair who has been sitting on a stack of donations, please send those in today. The faster we c…

See you at the Julebukking

by Jim O'Kelley
Director, Elks National Foundation
(Earlier this week, I started a series of posts on the need for Lodges to stay relevant during this time of isolation. This is the second post in the series—technically, the series became a series when I posted this. Anyway, read the first post here. To find all posts in the series, click here: #StaySafeBeRelevant.)
Humans have a fundamental need to connect. Scientists, psychologists, therapists, they’ll all tell you the same thing. Our culture may celebrate individualism, but we are wired to be around other people.
How else can you explain the existence of organizations like the Elks? It’s certainly not the dated titles or the jewels of office that go along with them. It’s not the many meetings that demand so much of our time if we want to rise through the ranks. It’s not even the desire to serve our communities.
The Elks have been around for 152 years because people need other people in our lives. Local Lodges satisfy that need.