Halfway through HAM – Here are 2 ways to help take #HungerAction

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by Willie Matis

“Have you gone orange yet?” I keep asking people that. It’s still Hunger Action Month, people!

We had a great day at RTV6’s Hope-A-Thon raising over $31,000.

We had a fantastic Harvest Moon Gala this past Saturday.

But that doesn’t mean we stop taking action, people!

We can’t thank #TeamFightHunger enough. Everyone has been awesome all month, but we are only halfway done. I saw a quote just today, and I think it was Coach Kryzewski who said it (by the way, he’s the head coach of the USA Men’s Basketball team who just won the world championship). He said…

Start strong. Finish stronger.

Here is how you can help in 2 ways… TODAY.

1) CLICK TO VOTE – http://walmart.com/fighthunger

One vote per day, every day until October 5th. That’s all we ask. You can set up a reminder on your Calendar by clicking right here!!

The top 50 food banks, which receive the most votes from across the country, will each receive $60,000. Your votes can help make that happen for Gleaners and hungry Hoosiers in central and southeast Indiana. VOTE NOW!

2) TRIPLE YOUR GIFT – http://bankofamerica.com/give

Make your dollar stretch even further. When you donate at the link above, Bank of America will match each dollar donated 2-to-1. That means you give $100, Bank of America gives $200, and that isto $300 for Gleaners and 900 meals for hungry Hoosiers.

Give today! And can you do us a favor and tell your friends on Twitter about it? Click here to send out a tweet asking people to TRIPLE THEIR GIFT to help Hoosiers in central and southeast Indiana. Thanks.

Hunger Action Month has been a whirlwind at Gleaners, and that is a testament to how much you are doing for those most in need in your neighborhood. You are providing hope for every future. Futures like Kris’s seen below in this quick video.

Help by participating in both ways described above.

#OABestDays – One America’s Inaugural Week of Caring at Gleaners

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by Willie Matis

This week, the food bank has been buzzing. Many, many volunteer groups in and out. Gearing up for Hunger Action Month and more!

Not to mention our first ever ONLINE ONLY AUCTION for a pre-Harvest Moon Gala! Check it out if you haven’t already.

One thing that has been very fun going on here in the warehouse is the INAUGURAL One America Week of Caring. Gleaners has had the privilege of hosting over 450 One America employees to help inspect and sort food, repackage meat, work in the cooler, and more.

We had a chance to catch up with One America’s CEO, Scott Davison, and here is what he had to say about #OAbestdays.

A huge shoutout goes to every one of the One America employees who chose to take time out of their work schedules to help fight hunger right here in Indiana.

Would you like to explore the opportunity of having your company come out to volunteer? Maybe just your department for some team building? Learn more on our volunteer page.

NERDS.

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by Todd Clevenger – Director of Marketing & Communications

I walked out of the parking garage and stepped into a world of Trolls, Wizards, Zombies, and gamers.

Never having been to a Gen Con event, my eyes grew wider than those of a kid in a toy store weeks before Christmas. I stared in amazement…and thought “Who are these people?” Surely when I walk through the doors of the iconic Union Station, there won’t be people dressed up like game characters and there weren’t…many, but there was a room full of Nerds.

Grown people, infatuated with playing board games. Don’t get me wrong, I was a master at Chutes and Ladders…but I was 9…seriously? What an idiot I am and how awesome are gaming Nerds?!

If you have never been to a DFW Nerd Night, you HAVE to add it to your bucket list right now!!

I spent 4 hours, in a room full of 300 wonderfully compassionate, generous, caring, genuine people I now call friends. I could barely think with all the laughter and cheer echoing through the Grand Ballroom. With the exception of a few scowls on the faces of players in deep thought over their next move, there was nothing but smiles…everywhere!

DFW Nerd Night

And then there’s the compassion and generosity. My new friends could have said, “I am here to focus on gaming, I don’t have time to learn about Gleaners and its causes.” From J.R. and his DFW team, down to the last gamer in the room it was a non-stop flow of questions and curiosity. Everyone that came to the Gleaners table was truly interested in learning more about childhood hunger and how they could help. And help they did!

Throughout the entire evening, J.R. would take to the mic and “gently” remind everyone why they were there…to play games sure, but also to help feed hungry kids. By the end of Nerd Night (which I was sad to see come to a close) J.R. and his room full of Nerds had raised more money for Gleaners than they had for any other charity.

I wasn’t a gamer at the start of Nerd Night…because I didn’t get it. But walking out as it ended, I got it! Gamers are people who are passionate. Gamers are people who care. Gamers are people who truly want to make a difference. Gamers are some of the coolest people I have EVER met.

I am the newest DFW Nerd and couldn’t be prouder…Nerds rule!

Thank you so very much for giving me the privilege of being a part of such an incredible event surrounded by phenomenal people. Thank you for opening my eyes to the world of the Nerd!

Are you heading out to #GenCon2014? Check out the listing of GREAT events that not only benefit Gleaners but they ARE AWESOME!

REACTION: Wage gap growing rapidly in Indy area

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by Willie Matis

Yesterday on IndyStar.com, an article was published talking about the wage gap in Indianapolis. Read the full article here.

The article did a great job of stating the facts.

In the Indianapolis metro area, inequality grew by 5.4 percent, the study found. And wages grew at a slower pace than the country at large.”

“The average income, which is skewed by the highest earners, rose by 9.4 percent in the area, while the typical worker made 3.8 percent more in 2012 than in 2005.”

“The typical worker made $49,888 in 2005 and $51,808 in 2012, a growth of $1,000, the study showed.

While the article, for fair reason, paid more attention to how the city can attract higher paying jobs, there is a deeper issue when income inequality increases in size.

Put yourselves in the shoes of the “typical worker” pointed out in fact #2 above. It took 7 years for the typical worker to make 3.8 percent more on the dollar. The economic recession made everyone tighten budgets, but I ask you to think about the progress you’ve made in the past 7 years.

  • For those Young People – go to college? get an entry level position? move out of mom and dad’s?
  • Young parents – add another child to the family? move to a bigger house? send off the oldest to school this year?
  • Older parents – send off your youngest kids to college? sell a house? retire?

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Income inequality has a natural tendency to intensify many social problems. Many people have a vision of the life they would like to have; however, a lack of higher wage jobs can prevent this vision from becoming a reality.

At Gleaners, we are seeing the effect of slow wage growth. People are able to get back to work and earn a steady income, which helps to pay rent or mortgage, afford a car, provide heat and air conditioning, and take care of electricity and water. For these reasons, the increase in higher paying jobs is a step in the right direction. Yet we are still seeing what happens when wages are just barely enough.

Families are stretching their dollars to pay for the rent and electricity, while hoping they have enough left over to buy food for everyone in their home. The need for food assistance has not decreased. In fact, just looking out of the window to see the line at Community Cupboard today, you can tell that the need is on the rise.


A RELATED ARTICLE: The 15 US Cities Where Poverty Is Soaring Fastest
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/cities-poverty-soaring-2014-8?op=1#ixzz3AD0DlWZR

MondayMotivation: Gleaners Loves Milk at the State Fair

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by Harvey Bananas

Hello friends! It is late on a Monday workday, but I have some monkey business to report.

Great American Milk Drive WP_20140808_002The American Dairy Association Indiana Inc. was out in full strength this past weekend at the Indiana State Fair reminding fair goers of the Great American Milk Drive!

With that reminder, did you know that through the Great American Milk Drive every $1 you donate can go to Gleaners to give nutrient-rich milk to those in need right here in central and southeast Indiana?

GAMD-infographic-3-14-FA-BrandedThe reason why The Great American Milk Drive is so special? Your donations turn into coupons for clients to go get fresh milk when needed. We aren’t taking the risk of milk going bad throughout the process of shipping and distribution!

Will you give the gift of fresh milk to someone in need?

 

 

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