April 17-23 is National Volunteer Week, and we’ll be featuring several members of the Tidal Basin and Adjusters International team who are doing fantastic work both in and out of the office. For them, volunteering is not a one-off affair, but a year-long commitment to those, near or far, who may need a helping hand. Whether it’s raising funds, shaving our heads in solidarity, participating in sporting challenges, or providing home-cooked meals to those in need, we hope that the acts of kindness portrayed in these stories will inspire you to show love to your community.
When Shareen Jordan isn’t with her family or overseeing digital marketing for Tidal Basin and Adjusters International, she volunteers her time to help others in her community. “We all have something to give. Some people have time, some have money, and some smile and offer a friendly “hello,” Jordan said. “For me, I love volunteering.” For Jordan, two charities share a special place in his heart: Pets for Vets and Lasagna Love.
Once a year, Jordan and her husband participate in a fundraiser for Pets for veterinarians, a non-profit organization that connects military veterans with rescued animals. Each Memorial Day, participants take part in the Murph Challenge, a workout used by Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient Michael Murphy, honoring the men and women of the armed forces who have lost their lives in defense of the freedom of our nation. The workout consists of a one kilometer run, 300 overhead squats, 200 push-ups, 100 pull-ups and ends with another one kilometer run. Money raised benefits local Pets for Vets chapters.
Many brave soldiers return home with scars – visible and invisible – which make the transition to civilian life difficult. At the same time, millions of wonderful animals are waiting in shelters for a forever home. Pets for Vets is the bridge that brings them together.
When Jordan isn’t training for the Murph, she’s in the kitchen making lasagna.
Jordan loves to cook and frequently uses his cooking skills to help people in need. Jordan is a member of lasagna love, a non-profit, grassroots global movement to connect neighbors with neighbors through the delivery of home-cooked meals. Every month, Jordan bakes lasagna for local families in need – any type of need. “They might have a hard time. They might feel sad. They might just want a lasagna. It’s a way to spread kindness,” Jordan said.
Jordan believes that volunteering comes in many forms. “We are all in this world together, doing our best to get through each day. Some days are a breeze, others a challenge. When we give what we can, when we throw it out into the world, we make someone’s day a little bit easier. In turn, our day becomes brighter and everyone wins.
When Susan Currie learned that 60% of students in a suburban Buffalo school district lived below the poverty line and more than 40% received reduced or free lunches on weekdays, she knew she had to help. Currie and a handful of church members got together and brainstormed a solution. That was 2015. The following year, the Daily Bread food truck, Buffalo’s only nonprofit food truck, hit the pavement.
“We began working with district social workers to identify families in need,” Currie said. “These families were the first to benefit from our free food deliveries.”
The Daily Bread food truck provides meals to food-insecure families in the Amherst, NY area using a “get one, give one” philosophy. Daily Bread sells meals prepared by volunteer chefs in the summer and fall and delivers meals to those in need during the colder months. When the pandemic hit in 2019, Currie and the team changed their business model to provide 100% free meals straight from the truck, thanks to donations from area restaurants and truck volunteers.
Similar to his role at Tidal Basin and Adjustors International, Currie got creative with marketing and helped with the food truck’s branding, website, social media and video production. She also scoured the roads delivering meals, helped raise funds, and once even drove the truck to an event and worked as a short-term cook!
“Being in the community and talking to the people who benefit from our free meals really shows how much of a difference we make for struggling families,” Currie said. “The outpouring of help from our community has been an eye-opening experience, especially in these trying times.”
Ride with a purpose
After months of training, the Tidal Basin team packed their bags, their bikes, and found themselves in the Sunshine State for the Pan-Florida Challenge Cancer Bike Ride. This annual event raises much needed funds for the Moffitt Cancer Center, cancer research, patient support and food for food insecure children.
“We’ve had family members, friends and co-workers battle cancer and we’ve seen firsthand its impact on our loved ones,” said Laura DeLoach, Vice President, Resource Management. “We wanted to help our local community fight cancer, and the Pan-Florida Challenge Cancer Ride was a way for us to raise funds that provide meaningful support.”
The Tidal Basin team included Laura DeLoach, Carlos Castillo, Director of Development and Senior Vice President; Bill Slater, Vice President, Public Relief and Recovery; Melissa Gordon, Senior Vice President, Executive Director; and Arthur Glickstein, associate project manager. Together they walked 386 miles for charity. “Living a purposeful life is both fulfilling and rewarding when we take the time to support and help others in need,” DeLoach said.
Riding for a good cause is nothing new for Castillo. “I like to exercise and help others at the same time,” Castillo said. For 12 years, he participated in numerous cycling events, raising funds for diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer research and various non-profit organizations. More recently, Castillo rode side-by-side with 200 other riders to support orphans in Ukraine.
“Helping people is something I love to do,” Castillo said. “Whether it’s giving of your time or your resources, it’s humanitarian to give back to others.”