Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Giving Tuesday

photo©Gina Weathersby/Kiwi Street Studios 2012

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here’s something I can get behind: Giving Tuesday, which celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

The volunteering bug bit me this year, and I’m glad it did. I confess my first foray was not entirely altruistic. When I signed up to be a table leader for Dîner en Blanc, it was partly in the hope my volunteer efforts would secure me a seat. (They did, and what a night it was!) Then Edible Ohio Valley posted a call for volunteers for the Ohio Valley Greenmarket and I thought, why not contribute a couple of hours to an event I already planned to attend? Another call for volunteers went out for Eat.Play.Give (formerly 7 Days for SIDS). Yep, I donated an afternoon of my time to that too. Through these experiences I’ve met some terrific people I might not have crossed paths with otherwise. And sometimes I’ve been lucky enough to cross paths with them again.

My baby steps in volunteering have yielded a few lessons. 1) There is truth to the adage that you get more of out volunteering than you give. 2) The organizers behind events like these put in a lot of hard work and can always use extra hands. 3) Food people really give back.

Take Eat.Play.Give, the annual fundraiser for the de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation, which supports SIDS research, education, and outreach and provides scholarships to the Midwest Culinary Institute in honor of Tatiana de Cavel, the daughter chef Jean-Robert de Cavel and his wife Annette lost to SIDS. The roster of chefs who participate each year is a pretty much a Who’s Who of Cincinnati talent, and they all bring their A game to collectively create the best brunch in town to support this cause.

“Food people” aren’t limited to chefs. For instance, two women I am proud to call friends, photographer Gina Weathersby and food writer Ilene Ross, the talented duo behind online magazine 513{eats}, created the stunning calendar whose cover is at the top of this post as their contribution to Eat.Play.Give. All proceeds go to the de Cavel Foundation, and you can still order yours – for yourself or for holiday gifts. Click on over to the 513{eats} site for a month-by-month glimpse of the local chefs paired with their spectacular dishes and place your order. I received my glorious large-format calendar in the mail last week, and I won't want to part with it even when 2014 rolls in. I'll be keeping the link on my sidebar so you can find the 513{eats} calendar - and purchase it - throughout the holiday season.

For those of you following along about the Golden Lawnchair benefit, we netted more than $3,300 for the Freestore Foodbank! I was happy to pitch in behind the scenes for a fun and creative evening masterminded by bloggers Laura and David Arnold of Cincinnati Nomerati. Josh Campbell and crew at Mayberry had a blast taking Laura's original menu up to 11. Stay tuned for the truffle tater tots or pimento-cheese slathered cheesesteaks to possibly pop back up on the Mayberry menu. And for great photos, check out blogger/documentarian Bob Schwartz's post about the event. The Golden Lawnchair received generous donations from more local restaurants, food trucks, and farmers than I can name, proving once again that food people really give back. Thanks to all!

Whether it's today or in the future, you can make a donation to something you believe in or find your inner volunteer, too. Consider it.


Ilene Ross said...

You are generous beyond words, and I am honored to be your friend!

gina{513eats} said...

thank you sharon. this is just one of the many reasons i love our foodie community....we all support each other and great causes across the board. xoxoxo

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