Almost a year ago, I was in attendance of what would be my last large in-person conference for a while (unbeknownst to me).
It was Sunday, March 8, 2020. I was invited to attend an all-day Diversity Equity Inclusion & Leadership Conference in Akron, Ohio, put on by EWAW (Elite Women Around the World). I felt honored to be invited to it, as I believe strongly in equality and human rights. (For more on these click here)
This was a well-rounded and well thought out event with both women and men sharing their experiences in their job searches, careers, organizations, schools, etc. This didn't just cover minorities of color or ethnicity, it covered all ranges of exclusion and prejudice.
There is simply no way, to sum up in this one blog post, just how many amazing people (including the person who invited me) I heard from, or how much I learned that day! Each person shared what they have witnessed, first hand, and/or are advocates for in regard to issues with inequality and exclusion. It was an eye-opener for sure and I was grateful to be there, even though I was a bit nervous since Covid had been in the U.S. for a bit.
While we were seated in our (pre-social distancing) round table groups, I was able to get to know some of the other attendees better. One organization that I will highlight briefly today, in the essence of Valentine's Day and their name, is The Valentine Project. (It's not what you think, so please read on.)
When I asked The Valentine Project President & CEO, Andrea Margida, to explain what they do, she offered me not only the backstory but also how they work with the community to help children in need. If you know me, or have read my Family Matters with Amber column and blog for any amount of time, you will know kids are also up there on my list of concerns.
Please read on to see how Andrea, her family, the organization, and their many volunteers are contributing during the pandemic:
This Valentine’s Day over 600 children will receive a package from The Valentine Project. Our volunteer-driven nonprofit sure could use your help! We are always thrilled to welcome people to The Valentine Project family! In order to keep everyone safe we are not able to welcome volunteers at the Valentine House during the pandemic. The population we serve is particularly vulnerable and we believe it is important to follow the same guidelines these children must follow. There are still many ways you can help!
- Donate through PayPal Giving Fund to The Valentine Project, a charitable 501©3, with a GOLD transparency rating by GuideStar. All donations support The Valentine Project Kids.
- We can also accept donations through Venmo: @thevalentineproject
- Click here to register to be a Valentine. Open your heart to a child on our list (or even a few), and donate $50 to sponsor your chosen child for a Valentine's Day gift package, delivered to their doorstep.
- Shop our Wishlist to help with much needed supplies. There are a variety of items on our Wishlist with different price points.
- There is not a deadline this year to donate $50 and Be a Valentine, so you can continue to sponsor a child/donate even after Valentine's Day.
- Visit our website to learn about year-round volunteer opportunities, including our Kindness Card Program and Pillowcase Partners.
- Checks can be made out to The Valentine Project and sent to:
The Valentine House
11592 McCallum Avenue
Alliance, OH 44601