The because I said I would Chapter program was established in April 2016. Since then, our members have impacting their local communities through a number of volunteer projects we call Unified Promises. These Unified Promises allow our Chapter members to work together as a team to raise awareness and address issues affecting their communities. For more information, you can read about some of our Unified Promises below.
Long Island: Welcoming Refugee Families
Refugee children and families have lost everything they know, love, and need to survive and thrive. While the reasons and the regions may vary, the story and desperation are the same. All refugees are seeking safety, freedom, and the chance to reclaim futures for themselves and their families.
For our December Unified Promise, we had the opportunity to host a dinner party at the offices of our partner nonprofit organization, Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN). CARECEN’s mission is to assist the immigrant community on Long Island in its effort to become full participants in the community's life. CARECEN is the leading organization of its kind in Nassau and Suffolk counties and has served the community for over 30 years.
Denver: Serving Grieving Children
Members cooked a homemade dinner for 65 children and their families in partnership with Judi's House. This local organization supports the Denver youth in wonderful ways and we couldn't be happier to be welcomed into their community!
Judi’s House is the only free-standing organization in the Metro Denver area devoted solely to supporting grieving children and their families.
Since 2002, Judi’s House has supported more than 8,000 youth, ages 3-25, and their caregivers, toward our vision that no child should be alone in grief.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors and investors, there is no cost to families participating in Judi’s House services and programs.
Cleveland: Community Revitalization.
Volunteers primed "conversation station" benches for community gardeners that will be installed in up to 50 gardens throughout the City of Cleveland. Additionally, volunteers helped to beautify the New Tech East campus. This project aims to bring people of all backgrounds together to show unity and commonality through service.
See more pictures from this project here.
Tampa Bay: Safe Ride Home.
“I just made a difference to that one…”
The Tampa Bay Chapter planned, sponsored and executed a highly successful Safe Ride Home unified promise on Friday, Aug 5 during “First Friday” in St Petersburg, Florida. First Fridays (also called “St Pete’s Best Block Party”) are sponsored by the Breakfast Optimist Club of St Pete as a community service for the greater Tampa Bay area and as a fundraiser for youth education and children’s health organizations in the area. In other words – EVERYONE WINS!
Thirteen volunteers showed up to support the unified promise that officially ran from 10pm-1am the next morning. While we had 27 people take us up on our offer of free taxi rides home from the festivities, we had WAY more (including the Breakfast Optimist Club of St Pete and the St. Petersburg Police Department) thank us for our efforts, show interest in because I said I would, and tell us that they wished there were more organizations that were like us. Definitely a great way to establish a presence in the community!!!
National Bone Marrow Donor Registration.
Every three minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia. For many, their only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. Our Cleveland, Tampa and Denver chapters held a registration event for the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry at one of our monthly meetings. Members simply swabbed their cheeks and filled out the paperwork for this important lifesaving cause. This unified promises was inspired by Sam and Alex Kimura, two girls who sold their cars, bought a van and toured the country trying to save lives through this registry. See their story here: http://becauseisaidiwould.com/samandalex
See more pictures from this meeting here.
Cleveland Clean Up.
The average American creates 4.4 lbs. of trash every day. Sometimes we see it on the side of the road and say to ourselves "I wish someone would just pick that up." That someone is us! As a unified promise, our team went out and picked up street litter in a west-cleveland neighborhood for three hours. Over all we collected over 300 lbs of trash off the streets. This promise was covered by our local news stations and even reached "Most Viral" on Imgur because our Cleveland Chapter leader took the promise a bit further. Alex promised to pick up trash for 24 hours! He went from Saturday at 11am to 11am on Sunday only stopping to use the restroom, eat or relocate to a new spot with trash.
See the interesting story of his night here.