I have a couple of questions for you:
1. Have you ever taken a day and not eaten anything?
2. Have you always been able to put food on the table?
3. What drives you?
3. Helping people come from unfortunate situations to make something better of their lives.
That’s why I participate in every Champions for Kids campaign I can get my hands on. Every month they have different ways that you can serve someone in your community. I love their “Act Locally” thought process, because that’s where real change happens. The more people you can touch in your own community, the better. I personally would rather spend $50 a month helping someone in my own community that I can hug and talk to, than someone I will never meet in person.
I’m not saying acting globally is wrong, I’m just saying I love touching lives in my own community.
Were you surprised by my #2 answer? When I was a single mom, I worked two jobs to make ends meet, and sometimes even that wasn’t enough. There were a couple of times I had to choose between keeping the electricity on and going grocery shopping. Every, single time that happened, my sweet neighbor would show up unexpectedly with bags and bags of groceries for The Nerd and me. We lived in Florida and Winn Dixie had good BOGO sales. It was just her living in her house and she didn’t need all of that food, so she would bring me all of the “free” stuff and some kids snacks for The Nerd. It always came exactly when I needed it.
We’re in a better position financially now, but still not in a position that we are able to spend hundreds on other people each month. Maybe we’ll get there some day. But for now, I do whatever I can to serve my community. Sometimes that means time, other times that means purchasing something for someone in need, and other times it means rallying my friends and family in this area to come together and help me provide for families in need.
Being able to help put food on someone’s table means the world to me, especially when I’m able to provide good nutrition in the form of fruit and/or veggies. I’d love to be known as the lady who donates healthy snacks for kids to Backpack Buddies every week. Most food pantries want non-perishables donated to them which can make it difficult to find healthful food to donate. That’s why I ran to Walmart and bought a whole slew of Dole Fruit Bowls and Dole Squish’ems. The Stinky is obsessed with Dole Fruit Bowl mandarin oranges and can literally eat an entire 4-pack before we reach the check out lanes, where he generally proceeds to eat another 4-pack while we are waiting for our turn to check out. He generally produces 3-4 full-sized mandarin oranges the next day, ifyaknowwhatimean.
He’s also mad for Dole Squish’ems, and I love that because of the ingenious packaging, they don’t wind up smeared all over my floor and used as shampoo in his hair.
So I feel good about picking a bunch of Dole fruit in its various forms, to donate to Backpack Buddies of Wake County! It’s a fantastic organization that gathers food throughout the week, packages it on Thursdays, and delivers it to local schools where it is handed out to children whose families need food over the weekend and couldn’t otherwise afford to eat. The organization started by packaging food in backpacks, but they’ve moved to bags because it has grown so much and because backpacks are expensive!
I’m the Membership Co-Chair for the Wake Forest Junior Women’s Club, and our organization volunteers with Backpack Buddies, so it’s an organization I’m familiar with, believe in, and feel good about standing behind.
I mobilized my Zumba group at the YMCA, and a group of Raleigh moms on Facebook and asked for donations. My first donation of Dole Fruit Bowl Mandarin Oranges was from Gabi, my beautiful Wednesday Zumba instructor. Then the lovely Tomi of Pampered Chef fame donated an entire bag of both Dole Fruit Bowls and Dole Squish’ems. Then my awesome workout partner Dawn hooked me up with even more Dole products.
This is just what I’ve collected in Dole Fruit Bowls and Dole Squish’ems so far.
The Nerd is tracked out on his 3 week summer break right now, but he goes back to school on August 19, and I am going to be running a “Flash Drive” for 7th grade, Track 3 with his teachers. Whichever classroom brings in the most Dole Fruit Bowls and/or Dole Squish’ems will get a pizza party and all of the donated food will go to help Backpack Buddies. I feel like I’m on a crazy roll with the donations and I don’t want it to stop.
What are some ways you could give back to your community? Do you like serving others?
To get more information on Champions for Kids and to find out what you can do in your own community to reach people, visit their social media channels:
And to find out how Dole is helping feed families in need, for recipe ideas, or to find out about some of their delicious products, visit their social media channels: