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1 year ago · by · Comments Off on NJ Moving Company Sparked Initiative to Help End Hunger

NJ Moving Company Sparked Initiative to Help End Hunger

A simple question asked by a New Jersey moving company in 2009 has sparked an initiative capitalizing on the amount of food left behind in clients’ fridges in order to help increase supply to local food banks. Over 1,050 moving companies and 22 million pounds of food later, Adam Lowy—founder of Move for Hunger—has turned unwanted food items into enterprise-level charity.


Lowy said “When people move, they throw away a whole bunch of stuff: food, clothing, furniture, you name it. And what bothered us was the perfectly good, nonperishable food that was getting left behind in the pantry, or simply thrown in the trash. So we started by asking a very simple question: ‘Do you want to donate your food when you move?’” In the first month of Lowy’s idea, he managed to collect 300 pounds of food. He wondered if one moving company could make this kind of impact in their local community, what an entire network of moving companies could do.


That question, led to the creation of Move for Hunger, which links moving companies with food banks in their area, and these pairings with apartment offices, corporate housing, relocation management companies, real estate agents, and other entities to reach as many tenants and homeowners as possible about the impact they can make by donating their food before they change addresses.


Once one of these partners gets word that someone wants to move, Move for Hunger provides a pamphlet about local hunger problems, a large plastic bag, and a cardboard box—all to help people donate any food they don’t feel like bringing along with them. Then a local moving company will bring those packed-up pantry staples to a local food bank, helping ensure nothing gets wasted.


Hunger affects one in six American children, and it’s only gotten worse during the pandemic as government-mandated business closures have ravaged the economy, destroyed jobs, and disrupted supply chains. Move for Hunger operates across the USA and Canada. They try to hold special events—such as food drives and holiday-themed collections as well. Their February 2021 Spread the Love event received 16,000 meals donated across 300 separate food drives, and 20,000 pounds of peanut butter and jelly being used.


Rental property owners or managers, moving companies and real estate agents can help by signing up on the moveforhunger.org website and encouraging others to do so too. Anyone with an upcoming move can also find moving companies in their area on the website who will deliver their donated food. Move For Hunger’s mission is to mobilize the relocation industry to reduce food waste and fight hunger. Rescuing and donating meals for communities in need is so important because millions of people need help today.

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1 year ago · by · Comments Off on Go Fund Me for Atlanta Shooting Victim’s Children Raises Millions

Go Fund Me for Atlanta Shooting Victim’s Children Raises Millions

A GoFundMe page established by the son of one of the victims of the Atlanta spa shootings has garnered millions of dollars in donations from tens of thousands of people in just days. Hyun Jung Grant, 51, was one of the eight people killed when a gunman opened fire inside three Asian spas in the Atlanta area. Following the deadly incident, the victim’s son launched a crowdfunding page asking for $20,000 to pay for funeral costs and other expenses.


On the page he wrote “My mother, Hyun Jung Grant( maiden name Kim), was one of the victims of the shootings in Atlanta, Georgia at Gold Spa. This is something that should never happen to anyone. She was a single mother who dedicated her whole life to providing for my brother and I. It is only my brother and I in the United States. The rest of my family is in South Korea and are unable to come. She was one of my best friends and the strongest influence on who we are today. Losing her has put a new lens on my eyes on the amount of hate that exists in our world.


As much as I want to grieve and process the reality that she is gone, I have a younger brother to take care of and matters to resolve as a result of this tragedy. Frankly, I have no time to grieve for long. I will need to figure out the living situation for my brother and I for the next few months, possibly year. As of now I have been advised to move out of my current home within the end of March to save money and find a new place to live. My biggest priority right now is to put my mother to rest and plan out the funeral but due to some legal complications, I am unable to obtain my mother’s body. I don’t think I’ll be able to figure out this whole situation along with legal matters if given 2 weeks to move out. Any donation will be used as funds for basic living necessities for my brother and I such as food, bills, and other expenses. I wish to stay in my current home for at least one more month to sort everything out. Any amount would be forever appreciated. Please everyone just stay safe and check up on your friends and loved ones that may feel endangered”


The GoFundMe has received over $2.8 million dollars in donations from people around the world. Hyan has posted updates expressing how grateful he is for the support and acknowledged he has never had a good understanding of money but will only use the funds for pure necessity. He also said he can’t help but feel selfish for all the attention this has garnered and encouraged people to share the same care and kindness people have shown him to anyone that feels scared or unsure about the world we live in.

To date, no central fund had been created to aid families of the victims — a contrast with some other mass shootings where groups were set up to collect and distribute money to those directly affected. Several individual GoFundMe accounts have been set up for other victims of the shooting, all surpassing their goals but none to the extent of Hyun Jung Grant’s. Perhaps it’s because her young sons are now alone in the US amid the pandemic.

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1 year ago · by · Comments Off on Mercy Chefs Serves 10 Millionth Meal

Mercy Chefs Serves 10 Millionth Meal

In February, the Virginia-based disaster relief and humanitarian aid group, Mercy Chefs, reached the milestone of serving its 10 millionth meal. Founded after Hurricane Katrina, the nonprofit organization has served professionally prepared restaurant-quality meals to victims and first responders in 27 states and 10 countries, responding to more than 134 disasters.


Since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic in March 2020, they have distributed 7 million meals with the help of 10,000 community volunteers. The group uses coronavirus response distribution locations it has established across the US, where Mercy Chefs works with food distributors and volunteers to supplement the USDA Family Farmers Food Box Program with more meals.


Mercy Chefs has also deployed to locations in 2020 following natural disasters, including Hurricanes Hanna and Laura; and the recent tornado in Alabama. They have repeatedly returned to Panama City to serve those still affected by Hurricane Michael. Just after reaching their milestone, they headed to Dallas Texas when the call for help came as severe cold weather left millions without electricity, water or food.


They served thousands of hot meals to Texans during the unprecedented storms from a large mobile kitchen at Gateway Church North Fort Worth Campus. The team served both lunch and dinner to the community, distributing food from multiple locations. Mercy Chefs utilized several kitchens in order to prepare meals to distribute to citizens and also. They also have been working to provide clean drinking water to those who need it throughout Texas.


Founder Gary LeBlanc said he was driven to help with disaster relief on a broader scale when he volunteered in his hometown of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. “The devastation was so intense and widespread. I saw firsthand the incredible difference a hot meal could make. I was inspired to the point of distraction by the idea of serving high-quality food in a disaster area. Little did I know how far that distraction would lead and Mercy Chefs now has three mobile kitchens and two refrigerated trailers. “


LeBlanc founded the non-profit in 2006 to help with disaster relief and they are often one of the first organizations to arrive following a major weather event. His teams are capable of providing 15,000 meals daily to meet the needs of devastated communities. When the pandemic started Mercy Chefs delivered millions of meals through grocery box distribution in places like Texas, Florida, Virginia, Puerto Rico, Oklahoma and others. They are also working toward ways to support people in food insecure communities with job skills training, single mothers cooking classes, and budget recipe creation.

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1 year ago · by · Comments Off on Canada Father Accepts Lowest Offer On Condo Amid Market Boom As A Way Of Paying It Forward

Canada Father Accepts Lowest Offer On Condo Amid Market Boom As A Way Of Paying It Forward

Sometimes paths cross in life for the sole purpose of changing the lives of those involved.  It’s no secret the housing market has changed during the pandemic.  Sellers used to hope to get close to their asking price but today are receiving multiple offers well above their asking price.  One Ontario father of three decided to sell his condo to the lowest bidder as a way of paying it forward.  When he listed his condo in London, Ontario for $20,000 less than others in the area, he, of course, received multiple offers above the asking price. 

Juliana Aguero was having a tough time buying a house after she separated from her husband.  “Every time, I lost the offer for $100,000 or something like that. It was crazy,” said Aguero, who made about 10 offers on homes within a span of three months.  When Aguero found a three-bedroom condo listed for $330,000, far less than other units in the same building, she offered $375,000.  Unbeknownst to her, Aguero’s realtor had included a letter with her offer, detailing her client’s backstory.  Aguero, who moved to Canada from Colombia 11 years ago, has two children with her ex-husband. The couple decided they wanted to live in the same neighborhood and raise their children together.

“When my realtor came, she actually started with Juliana’s offer,” said Damian Devonish, a London-based therapist with three children. “She said, ‘This is a really touching story. I know your heart and I know that you will want to give it to her.”  Devonish, also an immigrant, arrived in Canada eight years ago from Barbados and believes strongly in paying it forward.

“We don’t know how life will treat us 10, 15, 20 years from now. So the best thing to do is to live it well today.”  “I really didn’t have a lot of money when I came to Canada,” He said. “I was having difficulty getting a job because I needed a vehicle.” Devonish finally found a car and remembers how the seller agreed to take $500 less for it, and he also threw in a set of winter tires.  And that’s why when Devonish reviewed all of the offers on his condo, and Aguero’s was the lowest by about $50,000, he still accepted it.

Aguero takes possession of the home in May in a market where homes are now listing at $600,000.  “I just feel so blessed, I’ve cried. I cannot believe there are people like Damian.”  During an interview with news outlets, Aguero spoke directly to Devonish: “I’m absolutely sure you will receive many, many blessings in different ways. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”

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1 year ago · by · Comments Off on Former Addict Shares Hope In Philadelphia

Former Addict Shares Hope In Philadelphia

A former opioid addict is giving back through random acts of kindness.  Megan Cohen had been in over 70 treatment centers and found herself homeless in different states.  Cohen also spent time in prison before going clean in 2019.  In August 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Megan started The Grace Project, non-profit that gives back to struggling addicts in the Philadelphia area.

“It was actually complete strangers that showed me kindness when I was out there and it, like, planted a seed of hope,” Cohen said. “I wish that the kindness my family showed me would have done that but it didn’t. It didn’t because I expected it.”  For years, Cohen lived in a perpetual state of hunger, trauma and pain. Eventually, she landed on the streets of Kensington, PA -the largest open-air drug market on the East Coast.  Joshua Santiago, an Uber driver coming off his shift spotted Cohen walking along the interstate in the rain.

“Something in my heart told me to stop, I was about to go home and lay in a warm bed” said Santiago.  When he pulled over, Cohen was skeptical about his intentions but being so cold, she said she didn’t care what happened.  Cohen said “I had no hope or will to live at that point.  I asked him why he would let me in his car when it’s obvious what I am.”  “You are still a person,” Santiago told her.  Not long after Santiago offered her a ride, two other “angels” stepped into her path — one gave her a hot meal and a place to shower; another offered her cold water and encouraging words.

The power of those moments fuels Cohen’s faith in humankind and strengthens her resolve to save others who feel trapped, as she once did, in the throes of addiction.  Every Thursday night, friends and family join Megan to distribute food, jackets, and toiletries in addition to cleaning up the littered streets.  Shane Williams, who became a volunteer following his own recovery said “There’s people openly using drugs. There’s people with serious medical issues being unattended to.” 

Weekly visits will continue as long as the community continues to support The Grace Project with funds and donations. Cohen hopes that the non-profit will evolve into a resource to support entire families who struggle with similar circumstances.  The GRACE Project’s GoFundMe page expands on their vision: “As we continue to grow, we hope to be able to start helping more people in need. This goes beyond those that are homeless. We would like to be able to start offering assistance and organizing events for children out there and in similar areas. We also hope to be able to start assisting anyone else who is in need of a little grace and a little hope. This could look like the person who is just turning their life around and needs some help getting on their feet or the parents who have a sick child and may not be able to work anymore and in turn are facing financial struggles.”

They also take in-kind donations and have a list on their Facebook page of some of the items they are currently taking. Locals who want to donate can message them on Facebook to set up a pick up or drop off.  In-kind donations can also be sent in the mail to 701 Philadelphia Ave Warrington PA 18976.  “We would not be able to do what we do each week if it weren’t for the support of others and we want to thank anyone who has contributed from the bottom of our hearts.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Six Year Old Leukemia Survivor Delivers Gifts To Kids Fighting Cancer

Six Year Old Leukemia Survivor Delivers Gifts To Kids Fighting Cancer

A young leukemia survivor spread holiday cheer to kids battling cancer by delivering toys throughout the D.C. area. Six-year-old Summer Grace Cernoch and her family drove around the region with the gifts. Summer Grace battled leukemia for two years, spending holidays in the hospital, had several surgeries and countless painful treatments. She finished her last treatment in February.

Two Christmases, 79 port chemos, 10 blood transfusions, and a countless number of pills later, Summer Grace beat cancer. Per her request, the night she took her last chemotherapy pill the Cernoch family set off fireworks in celebration. The fireworks, however, were just the beginning of their celebration of Summer Grace’s hard-fought battle – in September they started the Summer Grace Foundation in her honor.

December 21st marked three years since she was diagnosed. “I’ve dreaded this day every year as it … just brings back a lot of bad memories for our family,” said Summer Grace’s mother, Jessica Cernoch. The Cernoch family started the foundation to help kids like her and many of the toys delivered Monday were donated by the community.

The foundation’s mission is to raise awareness, raise funds for pediatric cancer research in hopes of finding better and less toxic treatments, and support the childhood cancer community. 1 in 5 kids diagnosed with cancer will not survive. On average, 43 kids are diagnosed with cancer every day, and 7 kids die every day due to cancer or because of the effects of their harsh treatments. “We remember very vividly how awful this journey is, and so we want to do everything we can to give back and support the childhood cancer community,” her mother said.

The world changes in an instant, and things are never quite the same ever again after a cancer diagnosis. Childhood cancer effects every aspect of family life. In addition to the physical aspect of cancer, there’s often a huge financial burden, and an indescribable level of worry and stress. Life becomes physically and emotionally draining, and there’s often little energy left to focus on anything or anyone other than the child. Marriages may become strained and siblings may be left feeling disconnected from the family.

Every year, the foundation also partners with various businesses to offer relaxing, overnight retreats. Donations to the foundation can sponsor a retreat for families battling cancer. Summer Grace and her family also plan to start a music scholarship program for cancer patients.

You can support the Summer Grace Foundation through AmazonSmile. At no cost to you, you can find the same selection of products and low prices! Upon checkout, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price to us. Simply go to smile.amazon.com, sign in, and choose the Summer Grace Foundation as your charity. Amazon will donate .05% of all eligible purchases.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on College Hunks Moving Company Donates Services to Domestic Violence Survivors

College Hunks Moving Company Donates Services to Domestic Violence Survivors

A moving company announced this month a new commitment to provide free moves to victims of domestic violence and those currently living in abusive situations. Since the recent launch of the program, College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving has already completed over 100 free moves for those who are fleeing an unsafe situation in the U.S. and Canada.
This new program was launched after a rise in domestic violence reports across the country during the lockdown. College Hunks co-founder Nick Friedman explained that their company purpose is to make a positive impact on the lives of the people they help. Friedman and his team were motivated to start the domestic violence initiative when they sat down to discuss how the COVID-19 crisis might be affecting those negatively by stay-at-home orders.

They already have a program to help disadvantaged youth in vulnerable situations get access to food. For every completed job they have been donating 2 nutritious meals to Feeding Children Everywhere—with over 1 million meals donated since the program began. They decided they needed to extend their services to domestic violence victims. Friedman said “I definitely think our Free Moves for Survivors of Domestic Violence program sheds light on a really important issue that is not often talked about. As a purpose driven, socially-conscious organization we’re always looking for ways to positively impact our communities—in this case, particularly for those who feel powerless in unhealthy home situations.”

This idea was done 20 years ago, by another moving company, Meathead Movers who began offering free moves to people in abusive homes. Last year, Meathead Movers donated more than $150,000 worth of moving services, partnering with eight domestic violence shelters in Central and Southern California.

Now, College Hunks Hauling is extending the same kind of help across their 131 franchise locations in the U.S. and Canada, offering the use of trucks and labor at no cost. People who need this kind of help should first contact their local domestic violence-prevention shelter to notify them of their situation. A certified domestic violence-prevention shelter will then need to approve and coordinate the no-cost move requests through College HUNKS to ensure that the victim is supported throughout the entire transition.

Once qualifications for the free move are confirmed, the approving shelter works in partnership with College Hunks to execute the move in coordination with their local franchise owner and the local authorities, as needed, for the safety of both the victim and the assisting College HUNKS team. College Hunks has also provided trucks for transporting COVID-19 testing supplies and other medical equipment, for relocating beds and goods from one hospital to another, and delivering water to healthcare workers.

College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving was originally founded in 2003 by two college buddies, Omar Soliman and Nick Friedman who began using a beat-up cargo van to haul furniture. H.U.N.K.S. becoming an abbreviation for Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable, Service. Now, it has over 100 franchises supplying full-service, tech-enabled residential and commercial moving, junk removal, donation pickups, and labor services in the United States and Canada.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Celebrity Chef David Chang Wins $1 Million For Restaurant Industry

Celebrity Chef David Chang Wins $1 Million For Restaurant Industry

Celebrity chef David Chang, founder of the successful Momofuku restaurant brand, is donating his $1 million dollar “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” winnings to the restaurant industry. Like the other celebrity contestants on the show, Chang had been playing for the charity of his choosing, the Southern Smoke Foundation, a Houston-based crisis-relief organization for hospitality industry workers experiencing debt or other hardships.

“I’m so honored that Dave chose Southern Smoke as his charity,” founder Chris Shepherd said. “Now, more than ever, with indoor dining shut down in many parts of the country and temperatures dropping to prohibit outdoor dining, food and beverage industry employees are desperate.” Southern Smoke was established in 2017 and COVID-19’s impact on restaurants, bars, and catering companies in 2020 has made the need for financial crisis intervention all the more urgent. According to their website, the Southern Smoke Foundation has distributed more than $5.7 million, both directly to people in need via the Emergency Relief Fund and to organizations that represent the needs of people in our industry.

Chang has seen first-hand how the spread of covid-19 has cost the hospitality industry hundreds of billions of dollars and put many people out of work. When Chang reached the $500,000 mark, host Jimmy Kimmel cautioned him that no celebrity contestant had ever taken home “the big check.” Chang seriously considered walking away, but trusting his luck, he decided to go all in. “I’m a gambling man and shame on me if this is wrong, but I’m doing this because having a million dollars right now, in this moment, is a game-changer for many, many families.”

Unless you’ve been lucky enough to work from home the entire time, it’s likely your industry has been affected in one way or another by the pandemic. Across the globe people have faced tough decisions on how to navigate a socially distanced life. From teachers creating and maintaining virtual AND in-person curriculums to drivers and delivery people, as well as healthcare professionals on the brink of burnout. Millions who work in the hospitality industry, including food and drink service, have seen unemployment since early into the pandemic in March. Thankfully, many people, like Chang, have found ways to help others through this and inspire others to do the same.

Chang won over several front-line workers in this season of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which also featured celebrities Tiffany Haddish, Julie Bowen, Ray Romano, Rebel Wilson and Joel McHale. The restaurateur, author and television personality is known for founding the Michelin-star winning Momofuku restaurant group as well as Netflix original series “Ugly Delicious” and “Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.” Southern Smoke Foundation immediately celebrated the win on twitter with the tweet “WE WON A MILLION DOLLARS!!!! #TAKINGCAREOFOUROWN

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Prison Camp Survivor Donating $50 Million Children’s Hospital In New Zealand

Prison Camp Survivor Donating $50 Million Children’s Hospital In New Zealand

Mark Dunajtschik, an 85 year old prison camp survivor committed $50 million dollars of his own money toward building a children’s hospital in New Zealand. Dunajtschik is one of the most successful industrialists and real estate developers in New Zealand and is known for his philanthropic works—having financed the country’s Life Flight Trust helicopter rescue service which has been credited with saving 22,000 lives. Dunajtschik’s latest major humanitarian endeavor is overseeing the construction of a new children’s hospital in Wellington.

Dunajtschik escaped Knicanin prison camp with his mother near the end of WWII and was forced to flee his homeland of Yugoslavia. Five years after the war ended, he became an apprentice toolmaker. He mastered the trade and after spending five years travelling the world, decided to make New Zealand his home. Soon after arriving he established his company Precision Grinders, running the business for 25 years. Dunajtschik was among New Zealand’s most successful property developers and investors, although he only started in the industry as a “hobby” at the age of 57 and has no staff.

Dunajtschik’s life experiences have undoubtedly contributed to the man he is today and his commitment to giving back. Housing in post-war Germany was almost nonexistent, Dunajtschick’s only option at that time was living in a housing facility for the mentally and physically disabled. Seeing the daily challenges his housemates faced made him realize how lucky he was. “Because I was given the opportunity to live in that home, which was founded by an industrialist in the 1880s, now that I am in a position that I can also do something, naturally I want to do it. Those people that are born with a healthy body and mind can look after themselves and those unfortunate to be born with, or suffering ill health, need our help” he said in an interview.

Over the summer, construction on the exterior of the hospital was completed. Dunajtschik had no desire to simply throw money at the new hospital. He takes a hands-on approach to all his projects so he plans to see it through to completion. “It’s exciting to see that in a little over a year the vision will be realized and we will have a magnificent new purpose-built facility that will help generations of sick kids to come,” said Bill Day, Chair of Wellington Hospitals Foundation.

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2 years ago · by · Comments Off on Couple Loans Cottage To Single Dad During Pandemic

Couple Loans Cottage To Single Dad During Pandemic

Families around the globe have had to adjust to the stresses of the pandemic and it’s always comforting to hear of instances of people helping one another during this unprecedented time. When a single dad in England, Sam Smith, appeared on the BBC Breakfast Show to talk about what it’s like to be confined in a very small living area during the pandemic, Ken and Sheila Sims decided to help.

Everyone has faced challenges during the pandemic but many don’t realize there are families with children out there who are living in small spaces with little to no space to run around. Since lockdown began in England, Sam Smith, 6-year-old Lysander and 3-year-old Zenduel, have been confined to their one-bed apartment on the 15th floor of a high-rise in East London. During the interview, Smith described what it was like sometimes being confined in the apartment 23 hours a day with just 12 steps from one side of the main room to the other—and with local parks closed.

Ken and Sheila Sims were watching the interview from their home on the Devon coast. Ken grew up in a high-rise apartment building as a young boy, and felt especially saddened seeing the difficulties the Smiths were going through. Ken knew all too well the challenges of growing up in a small apartment but he didn’t have to live through a pandemic. Luckily, he knew just how to help and he wasted no time in offering the Smiths a week at their cottage on the English seaside so the family would have some space to play, explore and run.

Sam immediately said yes to the offer and he was touched by the kindness of strangers. “I can’t find the words… ” Sam said at the beach on his family’s Devon vacation. Motioning at the sky and water all around him, at his young sons making sandcastles, he exclaimed, “It’s beautiful!”

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