7 Ways to Give Back

Whether you donate money or time, giving back is beneficial–and not just for the recipients. Besides feeling good about yourself for doing something for others, giving back is also good for your physical health. Studies have shown a relationship between volunteering and increased self-esteem, with volunteers reporting both greater personal empowerment and better health.

Here are some ideas to get started giving back in Manatee County:

Volunteer for Meals on Wheels PLUS
Bayside Volunteers

1. Drive for Meals on Wheels PLUS
Meals on Wheels PLUS delivers 53 routes in Manatee County. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of this organization, delivering nearly 229,000 meals in 2016. Volunteer drivers are always needed, especially in the summer time when our northern friends return home. To get started delivering hot, nutritious meals and smiles, contact Jackie Godlewski at jgodlewski@mealsonwheelsplus.org.

2. Pack/Sort at the Food Bank of Manatee
As food donations come in to the Food Bank, volunteers organize and sort similar foods. Bulk foods are then distributed to more than 115 local pantries, agencies, soup kitchens, and social service organizations. Volunteers also pack emergency kits for food-insecure Manatee county residents that will feed a family for a week. Emergency Baby Baskets contain critical need items such as formula, baby food, diapers and wipes. Summer Weekend Food Sacks ensure children have food over the weekend during the summer. To get involved, contact Cindy Sloan at csloan@foodbankofmanatee.org.

3. Organize a Fundraiser
You can make a difference! Ask you company or organization to host a fundraiser. Set goals, come up with creative theme ideas such as a $5 jean day at work or a $5 pot-luck luncheon. 95 cents of every dollar received goes right back into PLUS Programs of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. For help setting up a fundraiser, contact Diana Dill, dianadill@mealsonwheelsplus.org or Stephanie Grepling, sgrepling@mealsonwheelsplus.org

4. Adopt a Beautification Project
Gather a team and pick a day to come help out. Community groups are encouraged to adopt a clean-up project with the purpose of beautifying and helping maintain facilities. A beautification project is not only helpful but can bring together a group of friends or co-workers, promote team building, and giving back. To organize a beautification project, contact Joe Stoddard at jstoddard@mealsonwheelsplus.org.

5. Host a Food Drive
Food drives are a very important source of donations for The Food Bank of Manatee. These food drives also are a great way to spread awareness about The Food Bank of Manatee and the need for hunger prevention in our community. Businesses, schools, civic organizations, and clubs are encouraged to host food drives. Hunger has no season! We welcome food drives any time throughout the year. To set up a food drive for your organization, contact Cindy Sloan at csloan@foodbankofmanatee.org.

6. Corporate 1:1 Match a Fundraiser
As a business owner, matching donations made by employees to Meals on Wheels PLUS or The Food Bank of Manatee is a great way to support employee charitable giving and to extend corporate philanthropy. To set up a corporate match fundraiser, contact Diana Dill at dianadill@mealsonwheelsplus.org.

7. Care and Share
Organizations that are looking for a volunteer opportunity for larger groups (15-30 volunteers) can participate in The Food Bank of Manatee’s Care and Share Program. We ask the organization to sponsor food distribution at a cost of $1,000. This helps pay for our trucks, our staff, and the cost of food and boxes. Their volunteers pack the boxes on site and hand them out to the clients at one of our affiliate food pantries. To set up a care and share sponsorship project, contact Diana Dill at dianadill@mealsonwheelsplus.org.

Leave a Reply