One late Friday afternoon in July, Erica Jedynak got a phone call from one of her activists. Jedynak, the New Jersey state director for Americans for Prosperity Foundation, listened as he told her about a huge overrun of food at the company he worked at. If they couldn’t find places to donate the food and a way to deliver it, the food would be thrown out.
Jedynak knew exactly where to turn—her local community of activists. She reached out to a regular volunteer, and together they helped coordinate vehicles to transport the food and local charities who could use the extra supplies.
At the next meeting of her six-week Grassroots Leadership Academy’s Community Mobilizer class, Jedynak shared the story with the room. Together, the group started talking about what else their community of activists could do to make a difference. They decided to organize a food drive that will fulfill part of their volunteer hours to graduate from GLA’s certification program. The food drive benefitted Roots & Wings, a nonprofit organization that provides “nurturing support, safe housing, educational support and practical life skills to young adults who have aged out of the child welfare system.” Together, the class collected enough nonperishable food to fill an SUV.
“For me, this just highlighted the great work GLA is doing building communities around the country,” Jedynak said. “These activists come from all walks of life. Thanks to GLA, they were able to develop real relationships with each other so they were ready to spring into action when an opportunity to help appeared.”