Hello! I'm Josh. Most people call me "Eik" (rhymes with Like).
I used to work in retail. As most people who have been in retail know, it isn't exactly the best gig in the world. Sporadic hours, low pay, no benefits, and not a lot of respect.
In 2011, I left the retail world for greener pastures after working in various stores for a decade. I never forgot those days.
I left retail just as the craziness for "Black Friday" was rising to a fever pitch - stores staying open through Thanksgiving, or opening Friday at 12:01am. Retail employees were forced to work these crazy shifts, unable to see their family or friends on what should be a national holiday.
Anyways, I decided to try to give back; that Thanksgiving, I bought a bunch of donuts and coffee and delivered them to my old big box retail store, straight to the employees. Sugar and caffeine makes dealing with the public a lot easier. Sure, it's a small gesture, but little gestures here and there add up over time, right?
Over the next several years, the donuts idea kind of grew - first one store, then several, then becoming an all-night deliver-a-thon, liveblogged on Instagram.
After opening it up to donations, I learned something else - the community of people I know and live in are really, really nice people. The donuts got paid for quickly, leaving hefty sums left over. What to do with the extra dosh? I decided to donate it to a local food bank (food security is a problem in Monroe County, as it is in many former industrial communities).
In 2014, we raised 200 bucks (basically covered all the donuts.)
In 2015, we raised $796 dollars. After cost, we were able to donate enough money to give 175 families a holiday free of food worries.
In 2016, we doubled that AGAIN, to $1,600, benefitting hundreds of families through the holidays.
The Monroe Evening News did an article (here ), and a company called TurnTo Networks did a story on my "Good Turn" (here ), and the campaign has been shared hundreds of times on social media. It's kind of become "a thing".
So here we are, 2017. Do you think we can raise $3,200? I think so. Because you're awesome.
Here are the details this year:
This year, I'm just buying the donuts and bagels straight up, because I love doing this. That means that ALL donations go straight to the food bank.
The donuts will be delivered through late Thanksgiving evening and into the early hours of Black Friday. The donuts/bagels will be driven to all the stores that are open around Monroe County. (I haven't gotten the full list this year, but in the past it has included all the big box retailers and the Mall of Monroe.)
Donut deliveries will ALSO be made to the Monroe City Fire, Police, Michigan State Police, and the Monroe Regional Hospital (protip: nurses LOVE donuts).
As i'm driving around throwing donuts at strangers, I'll be "liveblogging" on Facebook/Instagram at all the stores I'm dropping goodies off to. Partly to keep me honest, and partly to help me stay awake trying to be witty. You can follow along!
Now, where is all this money going to? Well, it's going to The Monroe County Opportunity Program's Food Bank initiative (more info here and here ). They are a non-profit that makes sure the residents of my hometown have food security and have enough food during the holidays, which is a challenge for some families (by some estimates, 1 in 6 Americans deals with serious hunger and food security issues). They provide over 500,000 pounds of food to families every single year, while also keeping costs as low as possible.
The setup is actually pretty neat - families are given a "point" allotment according to need, and then they get to go "shopping" at the food bank, which is set up just like a regular grocery store. Even better, they usually have FRESH food - fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, dairy. Last year they were even giving away free turkeys.
If we raise $3,200 or more, we are going to blow their flippin' minds. $800 was enough for 175 families; think how many bellies will be full with $3,200?
Think how many family Christmas dinners we'll be providing.
Think how many smiling children we'll be helping. :)
Think how awesome it would be for a struggling family to have one less thing to worry about during the holidays?
Even a little bit helps - we had over 40 people donate last year. It doesn't take much money per person to turn this into a snowball of awesome do-goodness.
Let's help our community.
Let's fill some bellies.
Let's deliver some donuts and smiles.
Thanks for your time. :)
(note: I am not affiliated with the MCOP or the Lord's Harvest Pantry - I'm just trying to give back to the community the best I can)
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