Category Archives: Serve

#TisTheSeason Special Donation Drive, and Holiday Banquet @ 2100 Lakeside Men’s Shelter, Fri 12/25

(It has been a while since my last post; Grad School got in the way! I am at Case Western Reserve University studying for my Master’s in Positive Organizational Development and Change…makes sense, right?!)

It is the time of year once again to give back in an extra special way! In “Very Rare” fashion, I have decided to take up another collection of scarves/hats/gloves/socks for the residents of 2100 Lakeside Emergency Men’s Shelter in downtown Cleveland. I will be dropping off a first batch of donations Friday December 11th, and will drop off a second batch Friday December 25th. For those who want to help out with monetary donations, you can send $1 donations to my PayPal account at vrere@aol.com. Please use the ‘friends & family’ option so you are not hit with a fee. Also please note, if you are using a credit card and not a banking account you will be hit with a service fee through the credit card…if you have any questions please send me a message through social media (I’m on the major ones LOL) or email me at ‘Vreredai@gmail.com’ THANK YOU to those who have contributed already!!!

In addition to this drive I am doing for the season, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry is having its annual Holiday Banquet over at the shelter (2100 Lakeside) on Friday December 25th from 12pm to 5pm. Many food/non-food donations are needed including:
-New Children’s Toys (the men of the shelter will be able to select these items to give to their children as presents)
-Men’s Clothing Items

Please refer to the flyer attached to this post for the list of food items that are needed; it’s a lot!

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If you have donations and/or would like to come volunteer at the banquet, please email Terry Vaughn (tvaughn@lutheranmetro.org, 216-333-2430) or Carl Cook (carlcook2100@gmail.com, 216-376-0396) with the donations you would like to bring and the number of individuals attending and the times you plan to attend.

 

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Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Committee Meeting, Wed 7/29

dvcacThe Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center is now in the beginning stages of planning its 3rd annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, an event giving men the opportunity to help raise awareness about violence against women.

The DVCAC will have a planning committee meeting on Wednesday July 29th at 8am, at their offices (2806 Payne Ave, Cleveland OH 44114). These volunteers will join in recruiting walkers, donations/sponsorships, planning process, etc.

If you are available to attend that morning, please email Sara Otts directly at sotts@dvcac.org.

#VolunteerInCLE 1-2-3 Read! Program and Homework Centers; Various Dates & Locations w/Cuyahoga County Public Library

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This Summer, I will be tutoring first and second graders at risk of not reaching the state mandated Third Grade Reading Guarantee. I initially posted a status on Facebook to see if anyone wanted to help out, and there was a pretty good response so I am listing all additional details here.

1-2-3 Read! provides free one-on-one tutoring in reading skills and small group tutoring with literacy games.
This 1-2-3 Read! Program is at the Brooklyn, Garfield Heights, Maple Heights and Warrensville Heights branch libraries. There is a particular need at Garfield Heights and Maple Heights. The program starts June 29th and runs through August 6th.

During the summer, 1-2-3 Read! is offered 2 days a week, per location. The upcoming schedule is as follows:
Brooklyn: Tuesday & Thursday from 1:00-2:15pm
Garfield Heights: Monday & Tuesday from 12:45-2:00pm
Maple Heights: Tuesday & Thursday from 12:45-2:00pm
Warrensville Heights: Wednesday & Thursday from 1:00-2:15pm

Upcoming training times for 1-2-3 Read! being held at the Garfield Heights Library (5409 Turney Road) are:
Monday, June 22nd from 7-8:30pm
or
Sunday, June 28th from 2-3:30pm

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There will also be 10 Homework Centers with a need for volunteers to help tutor students in Grades K-8 with their homework. Homework Centers are located at: Brookpark, Brooklyn, Garfield Hts., Maple Hts., North Olmsted, Parma, Richmond Hts., South Euclid, Southeast, Warrensville Hts.

If you have an interest in volunteering or know someone who does, an application form will need to be filled out. You can access that HERE.

Please feel free to connect with Nicole Joy Beleske, Volunteer Coordinator at 216-749-9400 or nbeleske@cuyahogalibrary.org to send your application and set up a training time.

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My (Extended) #VrereDai Present to the Men’s Shelter

 

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I want to say Thank You again to everyone who had something to do with celebrating my birthday (VrereDai) by giving back so far. I wanted to update you all on an additional component for this second round of donations for the 2100 Lakeside Men’s Shelter. My Sorority chapter (Kappa Gamma Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated) has decided to help me out along the way! My Sisters will be accepting donations and money from anyone wanting to contribute! Again, I am still accepting monetary donations with my PayPal account and I will do the shopping for you. Please send money to VRERE@AOL.COM and use the “Friends & Family” option so no fees will be charged. Every dollar equals one item from the following list of things needed:

Bar Soap
Toothpaste/Toothbrush
Shampoo
Hand Lotion
Chapstick/Lip Balm
Deodorant

...a few of my own donations to the Men's Shelter :)
…a few of my own donations to the Men’s Shelter 🙂

I am wrapping up this drive on Thursday April 30th. The chapter and I  will deliver all donations to the shelter on Saturday May 2nd, in addition to serve lunch for the residents as our Day of Service Project. If you have any questions please connect with me at vreredai@gmail.com or at 216-236-5470.

I hope you can help me continue my birthday celebration for the month by giving back to those not in the best situation. If I may get personal for a moment, this has been the most rewarding birthday for me. At 31, I am truly grateful that I was blessed to make the decision to celebrate in a way that benefits others. I promise to keep this going for years to come and make it something bigger, and I look forward to the continued support of my friends and family!

#VrereDai Thank You…and Part Two.

I had my little brother and sister help me with donation delivery!
I had my little brother and sister help me with donation delivery!

I just wanted to take time to thank everyone who took their time to support my special present to the 2100 Lakeside Men’s Shelter. I hope you know that am deeply humbled. I was able to collect a monetary total of $330 dollars from family, friends and colleagues via Paypal. That was used to buy 330 $1 items. I also collected many donations from people around town; I believe it was well over $200 worth of items, in addition to a box of books I selected from the bookstore in Gordon Square (Cleveland), Guide To Kulchur. There was so much to take over that I had my little brother ans sister help me out. It was good for them to participate in this kind of service and to see the impact it truly has on the community. It’s important that I expose them to giving back.

I did not expect to receive so much help-this was my first attempt to start my own drive for a cause. I have signed up tp participate in walks and other activities in the past in which I ask for donations…but this was something I started on my own. It was a LOT of work and I learned things about myself during the process. I’m so grateful I stepped up and followed through. To see so much praise and encouragement for a task like this was overwhelming; it felt really good to grab as much attention as I did and I hope I influenced you in some way to give back on your own.

There were many people who were unable to donate to this drive or simply missed my deadline, which was not a problem. Due to that response, I have decided to begin a new drive for the month of April. The 2100 Lakeside Men’s Shelter is always in need of items; they support up to 400 men each night. Although the donations collected for this drive was highly appreciated and more than the shelter expected, they will never stop needing our help. I want to extend my “Vrere Dai” celebration all month by collecting items, and monetary donations that I will use to shop on your behalf.

Here’s a reminder of the items needed for me to collect:
Small toothpaste & regular size toothbrush
Bar soap
Regular size deodorant
Small shampoo
Small hand lotion
Chapstick/Lip Balm

If you would like to send money, please use my PayPal account (VRERE@AOL.COM) and be sure to choose the ‘friends and family’ option so your donation is not deducted a fee.

The deadline for this drive will be THURSDAY APRIL 30TH.

If you have any questions or want to connect, please email me at Vreredai@gmail.com or send me a text at 216-236-5470. I may not generate the same numbers as the last go-round…but any and everything helps… 🙂

vdai

 

Update on How to Help Celebrate my #VrereDai (Birthday Donation Drive for the Men’s Shelter)

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…a few of my own donations to the Men’s Shelter 🙂

 

First off, THANK YOU to everyone who has given me items and/or cash towards this project! I’m really excited for the 2100 Lakeside Men’s Shelter. They should expect over 100 items for my VrereDai (birthday-April 4th)! I just wanted to do something out of the norm of celebrating for myself. Based on the success of this drive I may do this every year, and I hope I influence you to do something similar some day 🙂

I want to let you know that if I’m unable to connect with you or you’re unable to collect/purchase items, I have a PAYPAL Account that you can send money to, and I will use that money to shop for the toiletries needed by the Shelter. In case you forgot, here is what they are asking for:

Small toothpaste & regular size toothbrush
Bar soap
Regular size deodorant
Small shampoo
Small hand lotion
Chapstick/Lip Balm

My PAYPAL Email is VRERE@AOL.COM. Please send all monetary donations to this email only. Each dollar donated equals one item from the list above. If there is a particular item you would like me to use your funds for, please send me a note with the donation. I know that not everyone has a Paypal account so let me inform you of a few things…

1. Sending money from your Paypal account to my account is FREE.

2. If you do not have a Paypal account and want to send money for free, you will need to sign up for one. Signing up is free; you are simply being asked to link your personal bank account to the site.

3. There are two options for who you are sending money to. Please choose the “FRIENDS OR FAMILY” option! This is not a business transaction in which I am sending you anything.

4. If you send money using a debit or credit card, you will be charged a fee, like with most sites.

Information on Paypal use can be found HERE.

Again, if you have questions or want to connect because you have items, I can be reached at vreredai@gmail.com (please note-this email IS NOT the same email linked to my PayPal account; please don’t get confused) or send me a text at 216-236-5470.

I can’t wait to do all this shopping and donate for my VrereDai! I may eat some carrot cake or ice cream cake in between…or maybe a nap! 🙂

Where’s Vrere? Fight for Air Climb, Sat 3/7

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On Saturday March 7th, I will be Volunteering with the American Lung Association for the 2015 Fight for Air Climb. The event takes place inside of the Terminal Tower (50 Public Square, Cleveland OH 44113). The Climb is 42 floors, a total of 804 steps, and the Climb is timed for all participants.

I am currently rounding up volunteers from my place of employment, Progressive Insurance, to come along and help; however I wanted to pass the info along for anyone else looking for a fun Volunteer opportunity taking place indoors. The majority of Volunteers are needed between 8:00AM and 1:00PM, depending on your position.

Volunteer duties may include:
Event set up or take down
Register participants
Pass out t-shirts
Pass out water
Monitor reception area
Stairwell supervision
Cheerleaders
Pass out climber bibs

If you decide to volunteer, please register HERE. Once you have registered you will receive additional information/instructions via email.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions at vreredai@gmail.com. Hope to see you there on the 7th! 🙂

#RAKE Random Act of Kindness Day, Tues 2/17

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Happy Random Act of Kindness Day! In case you aren’t aware, Today is #RAKE Day. #RAKE, or Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere, is a movement/nonprofit created by Cleveland native Ricky Smith. RAKE’s objective is to improve the world one random act at a time. Buying lunch for the person in line behind you, shoveling a neighbor’s snow out the driveway, paying a compliment to someone you know is feeling down…all RANDOM acts. You can find more information on the mission of R.A.K.E. HERE. We should all take some time to find the importance in doing something positive for another out of the kindness of our hearts. I personally find it to be a great healing process because it really makes me feel good helping out others (even though I don’t consider my helping of others to be so “random”, but I do a lot of organized/structured Volunteering and that’s just as helpful too).

To celebrate, you can check out the website and purchase select RAKE t-shirts for just $2.17! That’s a pretty good deal in my opinion; I grabbed myself a shirt 🙂 All proceeds go to the R.A.K.E. Fund.

Be sure to take advantage of the sale, and do something Random for another before the day is over! As always, spread the word…:)

 

#VolunteerInCLE Where’s Vrere? Homeless Stand Down 2015, Sat 1/24

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On Saturday January 24th I will be participating in the 2015 Homeless Stand Down, a two-day event for individuals and families facing poverty and homelessness. On day #1 (Saturday, January 24, 2015) guests enjoy access to social service providers, haircuts, medical screenings, live entertainment, professional portraits, breakfast and lunch, and free winter clothing, personal care kits, bus passes and much more. During day #2 event(s) (January 31/February 1) the same services (e.g. haircuts, bagged lunches, winter clothing, etc.) are packaged into a CareVan and driven to guests permanent supportive housing sites around Greater Cleveland.

I will be volunteering with a few of my Sorority Sisters (Sigma Gamma Rho) & friends at the Cleveland Public Auditorium downtown . We will help with the distribution of materials and keeping the area clean for guests. Our shift will be 11:15am-3:00PM Saturday the 24th.

I have reserved a few spots for anyone wanting to Volunteer with the group. If you are interested please let me know at your earliest convenience. I simply need your name and email address. Spots are very limited. I would like to gather all participants by January 14th. Please note that Volunteers must be ages 16 and up. Please dress comfortably.

There is also still time to donate to the HSD 2015. Here is a link to find out what donations are most needed, as well as drop off locations.

#VolunteerInCLE Be A Listener At 2100 Lakeside Emergency Men’s Shelter (Ongoing Opportunity)

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Here is a really special opportunity to give some of your time at the Shelter. By simply coming in during the week to lend an ear to residents you provide a more safe space for dialogue, an opportunity to ‘vent’, and put smiles on faces. It is important however, to know how to effectively listen to others in a way that they are comfortable with sharing thoughts and feelings with you. I believe we live in a society in which we talk first and do little to understand another’s point of view. There is a lack of Active Listening not because it’s intended but the concept is not one that is discussed or heavily promoted. We make getting our own points across a top priority. This volunteer opportunity can help provide some practice that you can apply to your everyday life. Instead of having a desire to want to fix a problem, all some of us truly need is someone to listen…and that includes the homeless. You would be surprised at how listening can end up solving a problem!

If you think you are interested in spending an hour or two each week coming to the Shelter to simply provide an outlet to the residents and nothing else or you have additional questions, please let me know so that I can send your information (name and email) to the Coordinator of Volunteers. Times are very flexible. I can tell you that after attending a Listening Training I have a desire to do more than serve food at the Shelter. I hope to get some friends and colleagues involved. 🙂