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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, 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?


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:

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?



#CollegeMonth starts in 2 Days


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by Willie Matis

#CollegeMonth is back upon us. School is almost back in session for many campuses, and we at Gleaners are fortunate enough to have many great groups fairly close to our doors.

#CollegeMonth is actually a bit longer than one month. It lasts 6 weeks, this ear from August 7th to September 16th. We have college students from many different schools as well as different departments within those schools.

Last year, we started #CollegeMonth without knowing what kind of rivalries may spark between volunteer groups. Take a look…

This year, we are happy to include the following groups in #CollegeMonth:

  • Huntington University Women’s Soccer
  • Marian University
  • Butler University Ambassadors of Change
  • IUPUI Bridge Class
  • Butler In The Streets
  • Butler Lambda Chi Alpha
  • IUPUI Kelley Indy Cares
  • Delta Gamma Alumnae Do Good Week

Be sure to follow the hashtag to see how these groups are going. Are any of these groups your alma mater or a school you’re attending? Voice you school pride in the comments section below!

MondayMotivation: What’s going on in August?


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by Harvey Bananas

It’s the first Monday of the month! Our #MondayMotivation post today will be focused mainly on what we have coming up on how you can get involved in supporting Gleaners in a different manner than directly giving.


CANstruction is LIVE at the Indiana State Fair! Head on out to the Fair and make the Ag/Hort building your first stop! You’ll want to make the southwest corner of the building your first place to go, and you won’t be disappointed. We went out there on Build Day last Friday, and some excellent ideas were about to be built. From The Beatles drum to Olaf from Frozen, these structures are going to be FANTASTIC.


Play Hooky Challenge with The Fan (ESPN 1070)

Check it out. Grady & Big Joe are at it again helping out hungry Hoosiers! Don’t you just love those guys?

ESPN 1070 Fundraiser for Gleaners

Family Dollar Fundraising!

This one is very exciting! The wonderful folks at Family Dollar have decided to join the fight against hunger. They are doing this throughout the nation, but let’s make sure they see the MOST SUCCESS right here in central and southeast Indiana. What do you say?

Head to any of their participating locations throughout the month of August, and you can help those in need during your checkout. It’s that easy. Here are the locations…

It is so very motivating to see all of these groups willing to help feed those who need it most right here in our own backyards! Be sure to give these groups a shout out.

Indiana State FairFacebook Page & @IndyStateFair on Twitter and Instagram.

ESPN 1070 The Fan – Facebook Page & @1070thefan on Twitter and Instagram.

Family Dollar - Facebook Page & @myfamilydollar on Twitter.


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