Guess what?  Atlantahelps is back!  The next event is in March at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (an amazing organization in Atlanta), and the ask is for 20 people to help sort food. The awesome Sanjay Parekh is leading the charge. Sign up here: http://j.mp/atlantahelpsmar2013 

Did you eat something healthy today? If so, you’re one of the lucky ones.  Having the freedom and good fortune to choose what we eat is something that we don’t often think about but many Americans aren’t afforded that luxury. In fact there are thousands of homebound seniors and chronically ill people of all ages right here in  Atlanta that don’t have access to basic nutritious meals.

That is what Atlanta based Open Hand has been addressing for nearly 22 years. Their mission is to help people prevent or better manage chronic disease through Comprehensive Nutrition Care™, which includes home-delivered meals and nutrition education. Their groundbreaking program is orchestrated by a team of staff members, chefs, registered dietitians and of course a dedicated volunteer base.

AtlantaHelps recently met with Rosalind Tucker,  Open Hand’s Director of Volunteer Services, to get a “day in the life” view of the organization. Here’s what she shared:

“Open Hand produces nearly 5,000 meals a day. Volunteers are at the heart of our operation and they can be seen packing and delivering meals everyday. They work alongside chefs and cooks who plan & cook exceptional meals as well as registered dieticians that provide nutrition counseling in 1:1 and group settings. The atmosphere is filled with music and camaraderie as volunteers from 8 years of age to 92 years of age share stories and laughter knowing how greatly their efforts will impact people in need.”

In addition to meal packing and delivery other volunteer opportunities include assisting with health & wellness programs at senior centers, data entry, and special events support.  Open Hand is also looking for a volunteer marketer to assist with marketing efforts including social media campaigns. For more information on volunteer opportunities call 404-872-2707 or email rtucker@projectopenhand.org.

AtlantaHelps has adopted Open Hand as our June non-profit. Here’s how you can participate:

1.) Volunteer with us as we pack meals at Open Hand on Sunday, June 20 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon. Join us for a tour and fun morning by registering on our Facebook events page.
2.) Follow @AltantaHelps and @OpenHandAtlanta on Twitter and tweet about the cause.

Here are some details about tomorrow night’s 500 Songs for Kids event:

Tickets are $10.00 per person and we will be meeting at 7:00 PM at the front door of Smiths Olde Bar.

Smiths Olde Bar
http://www.smithsoldebar.com
1578 Piedmont Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30324-5232
(404) 875-1522

Feel free to call Atlantahelps 2010 co-chair (Laura Nolte, @laura_nolte) with questions at 678-575-1522.

Join AtlantaHelps for the 4th annual 500 Songs for Kids, the biggest music charity event in Georgia. This is a 10-day live music marathon running from April 29th to May 8th, 2010 where 500 different artists will perform a countdown of the 500 greatest era defining songs of all time. The event will be held at Smith’s Olde Bar and the AtlantaHelps team will be attending on Friday April 30th.

This event benefits The Songs for Kids Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation that brings musicians year-round to hospitals and special needs kids camps. Go to http://www.songsforkidsfoundation.org to learn more about this outstanding organization and this incredibly fun event!

Please note that we will post information about ticket costs and musical acts as it becomes available. In the past tickets have cost between $10 – $20 depending on which musical acts are participating on a given evening. In the meantime, please RSVP at the AtlantaHelps facebook event page

Another great event for our female Atlantahelpers this month is the Clothing Swap to benefit Dress for Success. Please check out the flyer for the event and contact Brandy (contact info is in the flyer) if you are able to go and would like to be added to the evite. Sounds like a fun time for a great cause!

We’re all set for the Kate’s Club event next Tuesday!  As you know from our last post, we are conducting a drive to gather camp supplies for Camp Good Mourning, which will be held August 6-8th this year. The drive will be held at the organization’s colorful new midtown clubhouse on Tuesday, March 23 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM. We’ll be collecting wish list items, touring the club house and socializing. Wish list items includes board games, musical instruments, arts & crafts supplies and snacks – here’s the full 2010 Kate’s Club Wish List.
Debra Brook, the Program Coordinator and a volunteer will be on hand to help facilitate our activities. We will be watching a short video and then touring the club and then doing some Spring cleaning! They have all the necessary cleaning supplies on hand.
Here are directions to Kate’s ClubHouse. The building that they are in goes on lockdown after 5:30 PM, so someone from Kate’s Club & Laura Nolte will be in the lobby at the front to help AtlantaHelps participants get to suite 520 where Debra will be waiting to greet them. Anyone attending is welcome to call either of the numbers below for directions:
Debra Brook -404-797-6408
Laura Nolte – 678-575-1522
Debra also wanted to let us know that anyone who wants to make a donation and does not have time to shop for camp supplies can donate money to a fund that will pay for water bottles for camp. They are trying to raise money for their camp so they can purchase reusable water bottles, instead of plastic bottles, that they would send home with the kids.  Their cost will be approximately $350 to make sure that everyone gets one and has the Kate’s club logo on it.
Hope to see everyone on Tuesday night!

Long time, no blog post!  As some of you know I had a fairly extreme accident late last fall that I’m still recovering from.  Fortunately there was an offer by the very talented Laura Nolte to co-chair this year’s Atlantahelps, allowing it to proceed.  I was more that profuse in my excitement to have Laura come on board, but somehow (even after that) she still wants to help!  Together we will be putting together an advisory board and working to make Atlantahelps a more effective organization this  year – more on this as we proceed.  To get us started again we will focus on Kate’s Club this month.

Kate’s Club, located at 1330 West Peachtree Street, N.W. Suite 520 Atlanta, GA 30309,  is a non-profit organization that empowers children and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling. By creating friendships with kids and young adults that share the experience, Kate’s Club guides children through their grief journey in a comfortable, safe, and uplifting setting.  The organization focuses on helping Atlanta area children who have lost a parent before the age of 18.  Kate’s Club founder Kate Atwood, who lost her mother at age 12, founded the organization about six years ago and since then it has grown from an initial group of six children to now serving almost 300 kids annually.

Kate’s Club is open to any school-aged child in the Atlanta metro area who’s lost a parent or sibling. Most members are referred via word of mouth or community partnerships; there are no fees. In addition to spending time with other kids in the same situation, club members engage in support group sessions led by professional therapists. More lighthearted events include the club’s monthly outings to Braves games, museums, tree climbing venues and even improv studios.

Atlantahelps will be supporting Kate’s Club by conducting a drive to gather camp supplies for Camp Good Mourning, which will be held August 6-8th this year. The drive will be held at the organization’s colorful new midtown clubhouse on Tuesday, March 23 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  We’ll be collecting wish list items, touring the club house and socializing. Wish list items includes board games, musical instruments, arts & crafts supplies and snacks – Click here to see the full wish list (pdf).

A conflict has occurred for our meetup on Thursday (10/29) evening, so I need to move the event to Sunday (11/1) afternoon from noon to 2pm. I hope everyone can still make it!

Atlantahelps is asking everyone to bring on the dusty tomes one more time for our October event.  Some of our regular Atlantahelpers have commented that they wanted to participate but weren’t able to do so when we held the event over the summer, so we’re doing it again!  The event will be at my house on October 29 from 6:30-8:30pm, and we’ll have light snacks, wine, and beer.

We are largely targeting Tech High School for the book drive.  From my summer post: Tech High is an innovative charter school whose mission is to maximize the learning of every student.  It delivers a comprehensive, integrated curriculum with a focus on math, science, technology, and communication.  Project-based activities and real world applications make learning relevant.  

Tech High is especially looking for books which relate to Tech High’s mission of science, math, and business leadership.  So non-fiction, reference books, etc. would be great, but they’ll also take other books that make sense for a high school library — literature, history, even some fiction.

And, as we said/did over the summer, don’t be shy about bringing any books to donate even if they don’t fit Tech High’s needs, because any books that aren’t a good fit for them will be given to Doc Bombay’s, which sells used books to benefit Noah’s Ark,  or donated to Better World Books, which uses (donates from) their proceeds to fund literacy programs around the world.

Special thanks, again, to Stephen Fleming who brought this great school to our attention and made the introduction to the Tech High principal.

The blog has been a bit “radio silence” for the last couple of months, our apologies for that!  We are happy to report, though, that Ms. Atlantahelps and Mr. Atlantahelps are finally the proud new adoptive parents of two boys, Brandon and Matt, who many of you will meet at future events.  Now, with that process finally behind us, we are hoping to get back into our regular groove, while knowing we have a whole new normal to adjust to!

So, with that, we decided we wanted to announce the next few months in advance, in the interest of it not getting away from us  like it has the last couple of months:

September, with two opportunities:

cafe458: As many of you know this is a cause to help homeless people, and all proceeds go to the Samaritan House of Atlanta.  It’s a delicious (and simple) way to do something good for your community. We’ll be there this Sunday morning (9/27) at 10am, and we have reservations for 12, so please come on out and join us if  you can!

hopeATL: Many Atlantans are struggling after the terrible storms from the last week, and the estimates are that 5000 have lost everything.  Please donate to help at one of the locations listed on their website.  We will not try to organize anything to bring donations together from Atlantahelps on this one but will take our own donations over this weekend Sunday after brunch.  However, if anyone wants to get items to us either at or before brunch that morning I will make sure they get to the donation center (in case that makes it easier on anyone to donate).

October:

Book drive:  A lot of folks have let me know they couldn’t make it to the book drive we held over the summer, and they still want to give, so we’re organizing another book drive to benefit Tech High, Noah’s Ark, and (for any that don’t work for those two options) Better World Books.  We’ll hold a get together at our house with delicious treats and some fun drinks on October 29 to allow everyone to bring their donations by.  More on that as it gets closer.

November:

We’re hoping to organize a pot-luck dinner and food drive for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.  We will either hold the dinner and food drive at the Food Bank, or at our house, still TBD.  This will occur on 11/19 (early!) due to the Thanksgiving holiday being the next week.  I hope we’ll see everyone together to celebrate a year of giving.

December:

Planning!  I/we need help deciding what’s next for Atlantahelps, and whether to continue it into 2010.  Some ideas that have come up include creating a board that will help plan events, partnering with HandsOnAtlanta to hold our events once a month, etc..  I’m hoping everyone will help me decide what should come next!  We will  probably meet up at Octane for this meeting, and I’m looking to hold it on Thursday, 12/17.

That’s all for now!  I hope to see everyone this Sunday, but if you can’t make it out I hope you’ll consider giving to hopeATL or vising cafe458 on your own!

We’re going to be combining our August and September events due to it being a crazy month this month! Look for a post soon about September’s event.

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