This past weekend I had a chance to talk with former Notre Dame running back Randy Kinder about his involvement with the Bread of Life Food Drive that is currently being supported by the Lou’s Lads Foundation.
The Bread of Life Food Drive (B.O.L.D.) began back in the spring of 1992 through the ND Club of Staten Island. Randy was introduced to the food drive two years ago when he was in meetings with local New York union electricians. The topic of ND came up during the meeting and they told Randy that he should check out this food drive that the local ND Club had been participating in for years, which they were also involved with through their union. Randy spent a Saturday first hand helping out and fell in love with the project. Since then Randy has been working with the Staten Island Club to create a partnership with Lou’s Lads and to turn their local food drive into a nationwide food drive in which all Notre Dame Clubs can participate.
When I myself heard about the food drive from Oscar McBride, I wanted to learn more about it, and I hope through some word of mouth and elbow grease we can get this project moving in communities all across the nation. Would you like to get involved personally, or get your local club involved? Please contact Lou’s Lads representative Randy Kinder at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Joe Delaney from the ND Club of Staten Island, email@example.com.
Want to learn more about B.O.L.D.? Keep reading!
In the spring of 1992, Father Malloy, President of the University of Notre Dame asked each Notre Dame Alumni Club across America to give a “gift” to their local community in the name of Notre Dame, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the University.
The University of Notre Dame Alumni Club of Staten Island decided that a food drive, to be held in the spring of 1992, would be their “gift” to the Staten Island community as requested by Father Malloy.
The club called their springtime food drive the “Bread of Life Food Drive” and the food drive provided 5,000 items of food, collected from seven schools, and distributed to three local Staten Island not-for-profit organizations who served the hungry, homeless and families in need.
Feeling very proud of their accomplishment, the Staten Island club thought this would be a one-time event. However, each of the three recipient organizations thanked the club for their donation of food and told the Bread of Life organizers they had never received food donations in the spring time. It seemed that only Thanksgiving and Christmas were times when food drives were held to support these not-for-profits.
So, inspired by this revelation from the not-for-profits, and with a little inspiration from the Holy Spirit, the Notre Dame Club of Staten Island decided to hold a second spring food drive in 1993, and increased the number of donor schools, recipient organizations and total items of food collected. And thus, eventually became the “Bread of Life Food Drive,” now in its 22nd year of operation. In the spring of 2013, the Bread of Life Food Drive consisted of 125 schools, who donated 80,000 items of food to be distributed to 25 not-for-profit organizations on Staten Island that continue to serve the hungry, homeless and families in need.
There are three key partnerships that make B.O.L.D successful.
1. Notre Dame Clubs
There are more than 220 domestic Notre Dame Clubs throughout the country embracing the mission of Our Lady’s University to promote Camaraderie, Catholic Spirituality, Current Students, Community Service, Continuing Education and Communications. (The 6 C’s.) Notre Dame clubs have conducted various types of food drives depending on the needs of local partners, needs of the community or the historic evolvement of local circumstances. Food drives can be very small (one school, one church, etc.) or expanded up to and including numerous schools and/or other partners.
2. Lou’s Lads Foundation, Inc.
In 2008, Lou’s Lad Foundation (LLF), a 501(c)(3) corporation, was formed in dedication to preserve and support the legacy of Lou Holtz and his players. The foundation has established a platform to provide financial assistance for the educational needs of underprivileged students and legacies as well as to support charitable and educational activities and organizations within the communities of its members.
LLF is comprised of each member of the Notre Dame Football team during any season coached by Lou Holtz between 1986 and 1996 and whose name was included on an official roster of Notre Dame. LLF included senior football managers from each one of those teams as well.
Coach Holtz and his players are dedicated to the unconditional support of Our Lady’s University and the underlying mission of the 6 Cs. As with most alumni(ae), Lou’s Lads are excited about engagement with Notre Dame and wish to extend their outreach programs under the banner of the Golden Dome. In this regard, Lou’s Lads Executive Board has approved a partnering relationship with the Bread of Life Food Drive as it is promoted through various Notre Dame Clubs across America.
3. Food Bank Networks
There are food bank networks in most cities of significant size. These food banks are sometimes referred to as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, etc. For our purpose, we will refer to the term “food bank” as distribution centers for community food programs.
Notre Dame Clubs can select a local food bank of their affiliated choice or one of the food banks with Feeding America, the country’s largest network which is led by Matt Knott, ND ’92. Feeding America www.feedingamerica.com is one of our key partners with more than 200 members in most major cities. A key benefit is that food shortages at one food bank are supplemented from another with their overstock. Concerning disaster relief food drives, donated items can be delivered to a local food bank affiliated with Feeding America, and the relief goods will be transported by other volunteers to disaster destination(s).
So … are you ready to get involved? Start small … start big … just get started! Want to learn how you can get a Bread of Life Food Drive organized within your community or local Notre Dame Alumni Club? Please contact Lou’s Lads representative Randy Kinder at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Joe Delaney from the ND Club of Staten Island, email@example.com and let them help you get started!
If the Staten Island club distributed 80,000 items of food in 2013, just think of what we can do on a nationwide scale!
Cheers & GO IRISH!