Posted tagged ‘homeless’

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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Volunteering with Noah’s Kitchen – Video Diary

May 16, 2010

Hello Houston!

Gustavo and I went out to volunteer for Noah’s Kitchen again today. Last time I helped out with this awesome charity, I was honored to write the guest blog for their website. This time, I wanted to take awareness for this great charity one step further so I recorded a video of today’s volunteer experience. I made this for those of you out there that may be curious about philanthropy and helping out with your local communities. It only takes a little effort to get out and make a difference!

Support your local community and grow together! – Mike Calimbas

Feeding Houston with Noah’s Kitchen

April 18, 2010

Good job to everyone who volunteered with Noah’s Kitchen this morning. In just a few short hours, we were able to put together and distribute 210 meals to the Houston homeless! I don’t know about you guys but I don’t think that is bad at all for a rainy Sunday afternoon. 🙂

Special thanks to Amber, Jennifer, and Candice of Noah’s Kitchen for putting this project together and allowing us all to contribute.  To the  DNC’s own Eddie, Gustavo, and Angela, thanks for contributing despite short-notice.  Thanks to Barry Laminack from thecagedoor.net for taking the time to give back to the community. Thanks to the rest of the volunteers as well. Very nice to do some good and meet all of you!

Noah’s Kitchen – Volunteer Slideshow – April 18, 2009

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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!!!