At this time one week ago today, Jay and I were with friends in Flagstaff Arizona sharing drinks, stories and collecting food for a canned food drive.
If the canned food drive seems a bit random, it’s because it was. Since our trip began, I have been sharing our volunteering stories on the HandsOn Network, Follow the Leader site. The Follow the Leader campaign strives to mobilize more volunteer leaders to take on service projects in their communities. I am interested in how this campaign is being run and have enjoyed participating.
One of the strategies of the campaign is to offer prizes or incentives for participation. Each month, when you choose a pledge to complete a project playbook, you are entered into a raffle. The challenge for me is that the project playbooks are designed for people who live in a community, have ties to that community, and have the ability to make a longer commitment. With our on the road lifestyle, the only project I had any chance of completing was the Food Drive. So I pledged to do a food drive and then was amazed to win the January drawing for an IPAD and a $2,500 donation to my favorite charity.
So that brings us back to the challenge of executing a food drive when you are moving from town to town every day or week. We decided to do the food drive in Flagstaff where we used to live and have a lot of contacts. We partnered with our friend Terri Tupper, who was also visiting Flagstaff after some time away and just told everyone we knew in town to come see us at Uptown Billiards and bring canned food. We did not have the time or resources to make this a community wide event and our expectations for the volume of food was low.
Thank you to Kathy, Cathy, Aaron, Josh, Shannon, Millie, Ken, Cindi, and Morgan for contributing to the drive. We were impressed with your generosity. There’s no way I can say the drive wasn’t a success, because we had a great time and did some good. That said, if we had been community members who could have followed the project playbook more closely, we could have significantly increased our donations.