The internet has proven to be a very powerful medium in society that can bring together communities or pull them apart. You only need to look at the latest news headlines or read a comments section on a political blog to see how we can tear each other down with anonymous post about who said what or who did this.
On the other end of the spectrum, new communities are being built using the power of the internet where neighbors are coming together and gathering with postings of food trucks all visiting a city or community at the same time in a central location. Neighbors bond over unique and imaginative creations of a local proprietor and food vendor as they come together as a community.
Group Community Service Projects in Orlando
So what if you took the social aspect of an internet-planned gathering, combined it with a community service element, and setup an online reservation system where your friends or family members could meet and participate in such an event that would help out someone in need? Groups like Feeding Children Everywhere, Meals of Hope, and some Orlando community churches are beginning to do just that.
Feeding Children Everywhere and Meals of Hope Food Packing Events
Orlando-based Feeding Children Everywhere and Florida-based Meals of Hope host events throughout the year in Orlando where you and your friends can sign up on these non-profit organizations websites to volunteer an hour or two of your time on a Saturday or Sunday packing together food into bags that are then shipped out to local communities in Orlando and throughout the world. For around 25 cents a meal, a child in Orlando or Haiti that would have gone without a meal can eat and have enough nourishment and not go hungry.
Meals of Hope is partnering with Miller’s Ale House and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association at the Orange County Convention Center on Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m for a food packing event that they are looking for the community to get involved with where they will pack 100,000 meals for needy families. Click here for more information and to get involved (see video at bottom of article).
Feeding Children Everywhere will be hosting their Pack the Park Food Packing Event on Saturday and Sunday, September 29th and 30th, 2012 at their Mills Park warehouse location at the corner of Mills and Virginia in Orlando with 5 shifts available from 10am until 6:15pm each day. Click here to see all of their upcoming food packing events (see video at bottom of article).
niceServe and ServeDay
Outside of the food packing events mentioned above come two events from churches within Orlando that have created a similar model as the non-profits for church members and non-church going members within the Orlando community to come together to serve a non-profit organization for a few hours one Saturday with a structured task that is available 2 times a year per church (once in the Fall and once again in the Spring).
First Presbyterian Church of Orlando’s Serve Day event takes place on Saturday, October 13th, 2012 from 8:30am until 12:30pm and Summit Church’s niceServe takes place on November 10th, 2012 at 8:30am. Again, you do not have to be a church member to participate in these events and it is a great way to spend some time with your family on a Saturday morning helping out others that are not as fortunate as we are.
I personally have spent quality time at Serve Day gleaning onions and cabbage for the Society of St Andrew to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida for one event and sorting groceries for Harvest Time International at another. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing that you have put in some sweat hours to help someone else in need. At the end of your 3 hours of community service, a free meal is provided to you at the hub of the event where you can casually share the experiences that you had volunteering with others (see video at bottom of article).
Click here for more information and to sign up for a volunteer event for Serve Day on Saturday, October 13th, 2012.
Click here for more information and to sign up for a volunteer event for niceServe on Saturday, November 10th, 2012.
Click here to read about more community service projects available around Orlando.
Meals of Hope Overview
Feeding Children Everywhere Overview
niceSERVE and Serve Day