Hey all! I was teasing you with some *big news* on my According to Trish facebook page and now it’s time to spill the beans.
You may or may not remember my Christmas Eve blog post about the food drive that I run. (You can get a refresher here: https://tinyurl.com/624wh8.) Now it appears that one of the major dreams that I’ve been cultivating the past few years is finally coming true. I’m sure I’ll have tons to say about this down the line but for today, I just want to share with you the email that I sent my many lovely donors this morning. Then I’m going to lean back, point my head up at the sky, smile real big and feel thankful for a bit.
Here’s the email:
We’ve come a long way, baby!
As you all know, the Little Food Drive That Could has always wanted to be so much more than a food drive. Over the years, we’ve given not only food, but clothes, coats, baby supplies, hygiene items — and practically an entire houseful of stuff to one unfortunate family. Most of all, we given lots and lots of love and concern for the kids we help. Always, you ask me, “What else can I do?”
Well finally, I have some answers for you! I’m so happy to tell that we’re growing and we have BIG PLANS — we not only want to feed these kids, we want to INSPIRE them! Please allow me to introduce our new program: FOOD FOR THOUGHT.
To my surprise and delight, a new-ish friend recently approached me and said, “What’s up with the food drive? I want in.” So I’d also like to introduce you to my good pal and new partner Lisa Ruby. Lisa is a successful business owner in the field of pharmaceutical market research. As far as the food drive, she brings resources, much-needed logistical support, creativity and a real enthusiasm for the greater vision of what this food drive can become. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner!
Lisa and I met with some people at the school yesterday. We had some ideas of what we’d like to provide and we wanted to know what they needed. The answer: Everything!
So (drum roll, please…) our holiday food drive is expanding to become a year-long enrichment program! There are three main parts:
1. The food/clothing/hygiene item donations will expand to continue throughout the school year. Of course, we’ll still have our regular big push at the holidays. Lisa has offered physical space to collect the food at that time (so I can finally get it out of my house!). I will soon give you more specific info on what sort of donations we’re looking for first.
2. We’re going to start a series of small, targeted workshops to inspire kids in certain interest areas. To begin, I’m going to run two creative writing workshops before the end of the school year. Our aim is to have several different workshops in place before the fall. We envision small groups who meet once a month for 4-6 sessions, focusing on hands-on projects (creative writing, photography, knitting, other specific art disciplines, music, etc.) Yes, we want to hear your ideas and yes, we’re on the hunt for volunteers to lead these groups.
3. We’re going to start a speaker series to bring in speakers who can ignite these kids’ imaginations as far as future careers. We’re looking for people with interesting jobs who can come in and speak to a class about their career, how they got there, etc. (First up: Lisa’s fiance, who is a former Navy SEAL and an all-around awesome guy.) Yes, we want your ideas on this, too! As part of this arm of Food for Thought, we also have some field trip ideas that will be off-the-charts amazing if we can pull them off (and it looks like we can). I’ll give you more information as soon as I can. (Aren’t I a tease?)
Lots going on! We would LOVE to get a Web site up and running, as well as a facebook page, so we can all communicate in a more streamlined manner. If anyone has Web expertise and would like to volunteer to help get our Web site moving, that would be fantastic! We’ll get that facebook page up ASAP — we’re just waiting on a few approvals from the school first. (We’re not entirely sure how public we’re allowed to be about the name and location of the school at this point.) We’re also looking into applying for non-profit status, so we can open a bank account and figure out how to let all of you take a tax deduction for donating to us. We’ll keep you posted on that!
Another thing we need: A logo! Any volunteers on that?
I’ll be in touch very soon about the first donation collection. In the meantime, shoot us your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
I apologize if anyone gets this twice — I tried to pull names from every food drive email from the last three years so I didn’t miss anyone.
Super HUGE thanks to all of you for being a part of this! It’s a dream come true for me and I can’t wait to work with you all as we go forward!