“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
It’s inspiring to witness a group of people coming together for a common cause in order to impact areas that are in need. Life Leadership Members all across North America have stepped up to participate in and organize events for the Life on Life Initiative. Yet, what’s even more impressive is when groups come together and collaborate to organize several events all in one day in order to affect more people.
Recently a Life Leadership Member from Northern Wisconsin reached out and shared her perspective on her team’s Life on Life Initiative that took place in Green Bay and Appleton, Wisconsin. Here’s the story, through the voice of Lisa Mangold.
Life Leadership Life on Life Initiative in Northern Wisconsin
Earlier this summer, Life Leadership members spread their “Life on Life” efforts across two communities and three organizations!
What we have found is that the Life Leadership community attracts so many people who already have a servant’s heart and a desire to make a difference that it was no problem to find volunteers for a day of service within our community. In fact, the real challenge was finding organizations that could handle a large number of volunteers. That’s when we decided to coordinate our efforts for a day of service among a couple of organizations.
One group of Life Leadership Members gathered to assist the Harbor House in Appleton, WI. The Harbor House is not only a place but it is a community of dedicated staff members, friends and volunteers who work to make it safe and supportive for victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Life Leadership Member, Karen McMullin, helped to organize the event and shared that reaching out to the Harbor House was a great decision because several important projects were completed and it was also a blessing for those who gave of their time.
“Being in this environment led us all to reflect upon what a blessing it really is to be living in a safe home with people that can be trusted. Many of us probably take that for granted and being at the Harbor House showed us the reality that some in our community do not have a safe place to live.” – Karen McMullin (Life Leadership Member)
Just 30 miles further north, a second group met at my home to put together food packs for a program called Ben’s Wish. The purpose of Ben’s Wish is to collect non-persihable food items for local food pantries and for this Life on Life project we decided to pack bags of food for school-aged children. Many children attending schools in that area are only given one or two meals per day and for some of these children, it’s the only meal they will receive that day. Ben’s Wish recognizes this need and offers food packs so the kids also have meals on the weekends. We received the funds to purchase the food, created an assembly line and utilized the volunteer labor of several Life Leadership Members and their kids to pack the bags.
“This was a great project for families because it not only resulted in kids helping kids, but it involved the next generation in our desire to make a difference. Just over 100 food bags were packed and delivered to Ben’s Wish for distribution to children in Brown County!”
Finally, another group of Life Leadership Members gathered to assist Paul’s Pantry in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Paul’s Pantry was started in 1984 by a businessman named Leo Frigo. Being in the food industry, he was aware that many companies had unsalable but edible food that was being wasted. After retiring from Frigo Cheese, Leo devoted the rest of his life coordinating efforts among these businesses and volunteers in the Green Bay community in order to make this food available to people who truly needed it.
“Paul’s Pantry is remarkable as it operates without government funding and utilizes nearly 100,000 volunteer hours per year to meet the needs of people in the community.”
This group, lead by Tyler Kosmoski, spent the morning repacking potatoes and eggs from industrial flats into smaller containers for easier distribution as well as stocking the shelves for the weekend. While the group accomplished a lot of work, they also had a lot of fun. Rumor has it that there probably wasn’t a golden ticket inside any candy bars, but a few golden potatoes may have been a little more than someone had hoped for!