Posted tagged ‘community’

Community Project with the Aids Foundation of Houston

June 14, 2010

Copy of my recent blog post for Noah’s Kitchen

This past Sunday we had the opportunity to work with some very awesome kids via theAids Foundation of Houston as part of their Universal Teen Leadership Forum. The goal for the Universal Teen Leadership program is to assist participants in transitioning from adolescence to adulthood as self-reliant, successful, informed individuals. Many of the kids we worked with are graduates of Camp HOPE, which began in 1996 and is the first summer camp designed specifically for children ages 7-15 with HIV/AIDS in Texas.

Sunday’s community outreach program with these kids was part of their curriculum that dealt with giving. They were able to accomplish that by making and distributing meals to the homeless is three areas in downtown Houston. It was hope that by accomplishing this mission, the children would not only feel empowered to help themselves and others, but also see life from the perspective that the glass is half full, never half empty, and can always have meaning.

Thank you to Courtenay Siegfried and Mark Cohen of AF Houston for bringing these awesome and kind-hearted kids out to work with Amber, Candace, Denise, and myself. I hope the work we did together had as much of an impact on them as it did with us. I know their courage certainly resonated with me and I will take our shared experience through for a lifetime.

Below is the video I made of what we were able to accomplish on Sunday.

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May 29th Community Outreach Project a Success!

June 3, 2010

Several of our ninjas at DNC Worlwide have been  involved with charity efforts around Houston recently with the non-profit, Noah’s Kitchen. Working with them has really been inspiring. Looking back, I can’t believe that we’ve been involved in distributing over a thousand meals to Houston’s homeless population in the span of just a few short months. I’m very proud of Gustavo, Eddie, Kim, Ricardo, Angela, and Ashley for being an example to our entire network in joining me for those efforts.

This past weekend, DNC Worldwide was able to expand goodwill in Houston furthermore by working with Rich & Barry at thecagedoor.net. Together with some local businesses, we were able to organize a Houston MMA Community Outreach Project with some of Houston’s toughest fighters giving back to the community.

Please read the event wrap-up on thecagedoor.net.

There are some additional videos and outtakes from this event on my YouTube Channel as well.

Paying It Forward With Noah’s Kitchen – An Interview with Founder Amber Rodriguez

April 16, 2010

I’m here with Amber Rodriguez, Founder and Executive Director of Noah’s Kitchen, a non-profit organization providing nourishment, nutritional education, and other assistance to the under-privileged in Houston. We’re going to talk briefly about Noah’s Kitchen, their mission, and giving back to the local community.

Mike: Hi Amber. I met you last week downtown via Candice Kizer, who introduced me to Noah’s Kitchen via Twitter. She mentioned volunteering to feed the homeless with you guys so I decided to join in on a whim. I’ve volunteered previously but this was my first time for this cause. Truth be told, I was genuinely touched that we were able to succeed in helping so many underprivileged people in such a short amount of time. (business lunch hour)

Amber: Aw, thanks Mike! We were so glad to have you with us and appreciate all the positivity you have been sending our way. =)

Mike: I’m sure our readers and the community at-large here in Houston would like to know a little bit more about Noah’s Kitchen. How did you get started?

Amber: Actually, I got laid off this past September. I had to file for unemployment and wanted to make the best of my free time, with my son. We volunteered for the WM Superfeast and started getting involved with Charity Chicks of Houston. Noah loved being part of something good. I started talking to various people about ideas (I’ve always loved to cook) and before I knew it, it went flying!

Mike: What motivates you to champion this cause of feeding the needy?

Amber: I honestly can’t pinpoint it. For years I have picked up an extra meal at the drive-thru to give to someone holding a sign, declaring their hunger. I know their pride has been pushed aside for their need and that must be so difficult to go through.  It always makes me so sad. I don’t care how someone got there and what they are or are not doing to help themselves. They could be someone’s mother… someone’s father… And always someone’s Child. I don’t have money to give but if I can help make somebody’s day just a little easier by feeding them, I will.

Mike: My family and I briefly stopped by last Sunday for the Viva Houston Party you invited us to. To my surprise, you were front and center volunteering and playing host for that event, which helped launch the new community mural downtown. You seem to be very involved with these types of events locally, and I’ve seen the hash tag on Twitter – #SLGT. (Support Local, Grow Together). Our network here in the DNC family shares that exact mantra – good people & organizations helping one another. Are you always involved in these types of local events?

Amber: It was very nice to see you, your girlfriend, and handsome little guy make it out to the event. If I can be a part of something good and much bigger than myself – I want in! =)  Houston is an AMAZING community. It’s pretty simple actually. If we support our neighbors – it’s near impossible to fail. As the always awesome JR Cohen says, “It’s not about me- it’s about how I can help YOU.” We are so glad to have you guys be part of us – It’s wonderful people such as yourself that are helping us grow.

Mike: How is the local community chipping in getting the word out about Noah’s Kitchen?

Amber: Gosh. It started over Twitter and truly, word of mouth is the best form of advertisement. Amber Roussel and Mark Austin are doing amazing things for us right now. They are participating in the Fiesta movement and have pledged a car to Noah’s Kitchen if they win. They are participating in FUN missions which bring together the community and showcase a lot of local talent and businesses. During the missions they are raising awareness for us, volunteers, and donations to help keep us running. We have so much love for them!    Are there any other local causes here in Houston that you personally want people to rally behind? I honestly can’t narrow that down. I’m a firm supporter in SLGT and there are so many causes that they support. I look to them to know where I need to be. 

Mike: We’re taking up too much of your time here so just a few more questions….You have a meet-up scheduled for this coming Sunday at Coffegroundz. Can you give us some details on that and volunteering for Noah’s Kitchen in general?

Amber: Absolutely. We get together and make sandwiches and put together bags with an ‘affordable’ nutritious meal including a beverage too. (As we grow we’d like the meals to be hot and completely balanced.)  We then go out in ‘safety teams’ to distribute the food to the less fortunate. Everyone has fun and it seems like we are always getting new ideas on how to grow through these gatherings.  The ‘food’ dates are listed on our facebook events page. I’m currently working on adding events to our calendar so that we can have Noah’s kitchen Teams go in the community and volunteer at other various charitable events.  Mark and Amber set up a way for people to pledge hours to volunteer here, as well.

Mike: How can others help in the future if they can’t make it Sunday?

Amber: No contribution is ever too small. Whether it be an idea, time, food, or monetary (we really DO need wal-mart/pre-loaded shopping cards to purchase food) every donation is GREATLY appreciated. If anyone would like to contact us we can be found all over Houston and here:

www.noahskitchen.org;
www.twitter.com/noahs_kitchen;
www.facebook.com/noahskitchen

Mike: Thanks for your time Amber.

Amber: See you soon! Thank you so much for taking the time to find out more about us. I look forward to working with you again soon, too!  Cheers and #SLGT!!!

Paying It Forward – Healing and Helping Kids

July 16, 2009

holdemgroupWe at DNC worldwide recently announced our participation for the VCSA Casino Night Fundraiser this coming Saturday, July 18th at 7pm. By giving our support, we hope to do our part in helping the Hoang Nguyen Foundation meet its goal of helping the Vietnamese Culture and Science Association of Houston maintain its after-school tutors program. The VCSA has been able to secure $15,000 in grants thus far (from St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital) but needs another $15,000 to maintain operating costs for the remainder of the year. Let’s get them there by playing some poker and blackjack for a good cause (and some huge prizes) this Saturday at 7pm at Frank-N-Stein’s in Sugar Land!

After Casino Night, the next event we are throwing our support behind comes by way of very own Gamer Ninja, Allen Ragasa,  who is involved in another extremely non-profit by the name of Extra Life. Many of you have not met Allen but I can tell you from personal experience that he cares so much about giving back to the community, which is amongst the main criterion for being a ninja for DNC Worldwide. Besides that, he’ll kick your tail in just about every gaming system there is!

Anyways, he’s more information about Extra Life from Allen:

extralife

This year, we are taking part in a cancer fundraiser called Extra Life, which is a video-game marathon where we play games for 24 continuous hours to raise money for Pediatric Cancer and the Texas Children’s Hospital. Last year, gamers from the SarcasticGamer.com community I am involved with got together and, in one month, raised $120,000 for cancer research. This year, we have been given four months advance notice and we want to blow last year’s donations out of the water. So we are trying to think big and bad on how we can accomplish this.

More details on Extra Life as it comes. The event date is set and the gamer marathon will be taking place on October 17th in Houston, TX beginning at 8am until 8am the following day at a location yet-to-be-determined.

Here are some immediate ways you can contribute to the process:

  • There are a few locations being thrown around but the venue for Extra Life – Houston has not been set. Know of a location in Houston that could host a lock-in event of this magnitude? Please e-mail Allen details in terms of cost, etc.
  • Play video games? Consider yourself a hardcore gamer? Get in contact with our Gamer Ninja to see how you can play games for twenty-four straight hours… and actually do it for a good cause this time. 🙂