Authored by: Lynda Reinarz (Marketing Campaign Manager)
It is no secret that the holidays are a time when families get together, meals are shared, and gifts are exchanged; but it can be a challenging time for families struggling to make ends meet. Every child deserves a magical holiday, and many don’t understand why some kids get amazing presents from Santa, while others get none. At HungerRush, we are all about connecting people, whether that means a restaurant connecting with its staff, customers, vendors, or the community at large. We are working on a partnership with certain charities to establish an ongoing relationship in 2022, but in the meantime, we wanted to make a difference by collecting money and toys for a local Houston charity, Change 4 a Change, started by Terrence Foley in 2020.
Change 4 a Change does a lot more than collecting toys at Christmas, however. As a basketball coach, Terrence said many of the kids he works with come from single-parent households, and often lack role models who show them that there are more ways to be successful than being an entertainer. These kids need someone to listen to them and care about them and Change 4 a Change strives to do this. “We provide tutoring for kids struggling in school, we teach table manners, etiquette, and resume building. We mentor kids and show them how they can become entrepreneurs.”
Terrence’s goal this season was to put as many smiles on as many faces as possible, so he organized a toy drive for local kids who might not get anything for Christmas. In all, he collected 280 toys which he donated to Fort Bend Family Promise and Fort Bend Child Protection Services. HungerRush was honored to have provided about half of the total number of toys. Our employees had so much fun filling up shopping carts with the money donated, and then delivering them all to the drop-off location on December 15, 2021.
There is no shortage of needs in any community and any type of giving back is valuable. HungerRush’s newest acquisition, Menufy got involved in After the Harvest, whose mission is to rescue wasted produce and get it into the mouths of hungry citizens as well as a mobile food pantry effort in December. You can read all about that here, as well as tips on how to host your own food drive.
Giving back is core to the values at HungerRush and Menufy, and it is rewarding for employees in several ways as well. Employees enjoy team building by working together for the greater good within the communities they live and work and witnessing the joy of those they help. Justin Freeland, Senior Marketing Operations Specialist, donated his time and truck to deliver the toys and was overwhelmed by the sheer surprise and gratitude of the recipient. “The joy on her face was unmistakable,” he said. “We drove up unannounced and she was surprised to see such a large donation in the back of my truck. I knew we were making a difference.”