During the month of November everyone awaits their Thanksgiving tradition. Whether it’s Turkey mid-day or takeout at dinner time, it is a time to be with loved ones, reflect and give thanks. This month we also decided to give back. And Ai showed up. BIG.
Although usually camera shy, I gladly posed in front of what seems like a delivery for a mid-sized NYC bodega. However it is 564 food items donated by Ai-ers during our Thanksgiving food drive benefitting Urban Pathways (UP). With me are Jennifer Leao, committed staff member of UP, and Ora Timbers, a formerly homeless New Yorker who lived at Ivan Shapiro House – one of the residences Urban Pathways supports. Ora is now in her own apartment in the UP scatter site program with a permanent part time job in UP’s development department. Food drives free up budget dollars, allow for increased critical services and help Urban Pathways have more success stories like Ora’s.
The Ai food drive was scheduled to run from November 8th to 28th. As our 1st food drive, I was prepared to accept 150 cans as a success. It was a satisfying surprise that we more than tripled our goal.
We got off to a very slow start with no can contributions the first days. Once the race got going, the Front-End Engineers took an early lead.
The last week the competition got tough.
On November 22nd, the Management Team + IT pulled ahead. They continued with a solid pace, courtesy of a genius strategy (i.e. boxes of food delivered from Amazon). At the last moment, the Front-End engineers won back their victory as half of the team trekked to a nearby grocery store returning with over a 100 cans in one trip.
The winning Front-End Engineers are below in all of their glory. Congratulations to them on a big win and to everyone who participated for having a positive impact on the lives of homeless this winter. We tip our proverbial hat to you!