Originally Published June 6, 2014
Feed The Help:
Workers Powering Through Lunches,
Friends Who Come to Advocacy Events
Any person with experience in nonprofit administration will tell you that a key factor to a successful operation is that volunteers and helpers are well taken care of. A simple thing can accomplish this in a fundamental and profound way: feed them!
Offering food is a way to draw people in to an organization. Providing refreshments when people are working on projects keeps the them focused and happy and usually results in more hours and more productive hours. The promise of recognition events (for completion of projects and periodic celebrations) with appetizing food and drink also goes a long way in keeping a volunteer/helper base happy and productive.
As a result – keeping our helpers happy and engaged is a priority. If helpers are hungry … nothing gets done!
For the folks working on the film, we’re often working 10, 12 or even 14 hours days without breaks – so we also feed our film crew, editors, production assistants and others helping in similar capacities whenever we’re having high-focus work days on the road or at Lead Safe America HQ.
We think it is also especially important to have refreshments available for guests at any and all advocacy events. Especially given we are asking people to take on such a serious cause, with a sometimes overwhelming message, having those people well-fed at events is key.
Events we hold at people’s homes (testing parties, screening parties) are usually structured as pot-luck, with everyone who comes contributing a little something. For bigger community events we work towards getting some or all of the food and beverages donated – or we request cash donations to specifically cover refreshments for the events: for the cases when we need to purchase food (usually simple things: pizza, chips, soda, lemonade, chocolate and sometimes wine) for volunteer activities and events.
We don’t yet have a regular donor of food or catering (locally here in Portland or nationally) and we would love to find sponsors to cover some of these items so that we can reserve our limited cash resources to cover other items that we cannot get donated. If you know anyone in one of the following businesses or business-types that might be interested in making an in-kind donation to Lead Safe America Foundation to support making refreshments available for volunteers and for our events, please either make a request on our behalf or let us know who to contact with our request. As always – donations to the Lead Safe America Foundation are tax-deductible as we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
Food companies that have made generous donations to date include:
Marshall’s Farm Natural Honey
We could use the following donors/ types of donors to help with this:
- A grocery store sponsor (someone like Whole Foods or New Seasons that does organic and local natural foods would be ideal and aligned with our mission for the health and well-being of children.) We generally spend in the neighborhood of $25 to $50 per event for food and this type of donation could come as gift certificates. When shopping for events we generally keep it very simple: chips, cookies, fruit, finger-snacks, napkins, cups, plates. Trader Joe’s (or another national chain) would also be great so that we can pick up food for events wherever we go.
- A winery sponsor (local Oregon or national.) We currently go through about 3 cases of wine a year for events (although we expect this to increase) – so this is a donation that could easily be made as a one-time gift by a potential sponsor – a donation of 5 or 10 cases might be a good place to start and would last us a while.
- A beverage sponsor – Crystal Geyser, Columbia Gorge or something similar… a company to provide non-alcoholic beverages and waters (sparkling and spring water) for events. Generally one or two cases at each event is sufficient – we’ve done about 40 events in the last year so a pledge of 80 or 100 cases (with gift certificates so we can pick them up in different locations) would be a great place to start!
- A national chain restaurant sponsor for volunteer meetings around the country (Olive Garden? Sweet Tomatoes? a Pizza Chain?) again – ideally something with healthy, and possibly organic options would be preferable to a fast-food chain that serves unhealthy, GMO or sugar and fat-laden food.
- A treats manufacturer (Stirs The Soul chocolate? Lara bars?) – something simple (preferably all natural, organic) that can easily be served and easily donated in cases (and of course, a product with a history of clean food/ no lead-recalls!)
As always we are open to ideas and will accept any donations that meet our standards for healthy, natural foods and beverages. Thank you for reading. E-mail Tamara (our Executive Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas or leads for food sponsors for our volunteers and community events.