“Volunteers Changing Lives” Launched by Advancing Compassion Project on Valentine’s Day

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Grassroots communitarian service program brings hearts, minds and hands together for positive change: Kickoff event brings San Diego couples and singles together on Valentine’s Day to help kids at 22 area elementary schools who are facing critical food insecurity.

Food insecurity, like bullying and abuse, can severely affect a child’s ability to learn. And yet with increased support for programs like the Food Bank and others, this is a problem that should be solvable in communities like San Diego.

Advancing Compassion Project (ACP) announces the launch of “Volunteers Changing Lives,” a program to support human interest and environmental projects creating positive impact in local communities. San Diego’s inaugural event will be a “Food 4 Kids Backpack Program” to help at-risk children at nearly two dozen area elementary schools. Before their own Valentine’s Day celebrations, a diverse group of adults will assemble healthy food packages that teachers and nurses will discreetly place with certain San Diego school children who are facing critical food insecurity. Volunteers Changing Lives will be supporting the Food 4 Kids program in association with the San Diego Food Bank for the rest of the 2011-12 academic year, and continuing this Fall.

“ACP and Volunteers Changing Lives directly engage people interested in addressing critical needs, while at the same time raising awareness of community issues and programs helping to solve them,” says Tyler Dylan-Hyde, president and chief executive officer of Advancing Compassion Project. “Food insecurity, like bullying and abuse, can severely affect a child’s ability to learn. And yet with increased support for programs like the Food Bank and others, this is a problem that should be solvable in communities like San Diego,” notes Dylan-Hyde.

With the recent loss of the 40-year old “Volunteer San Diego” program, and other nonprofits impacted by the economic downturn, there is a real need for a sustainable model of communitarian service in San Diego and other U.S. cities. Dylan-Hyde explains that “ACP operates as an all-volunteer network relying on circles of friends, social media and other means with no significant overhead or expenses, and therefore represents a new grassroots approach for raising awareness, encouraging volunteerism and connecting people to worthy projects within their communities.”

Beginning in the San Diego region, upcoming service projects and events involve programs benefiting homeless youth, supporting disease prevention and health services, and addressing impacts threatening environment and wildlife.

Social impact programs that ACP plans to aid or volunteer with include the following:

  •     Supporting outreach efforts to help address youth homelessness and associated issues through projects organized by San Diego Youth Services, and assisting with a dinner program at the Monarch School, which is helping to educate homeless kids (grades K-12).
  •     Helping to address food insecurity for at-risk adults and children in connection with Christie’s Place, Mama’s Kitchen, and the Food 4 Kids backpack program.
  •     Providing support to programs helping to prevent teen bullying and suicide through efforts of the San Diego LGBT Community Center, the North County LGBTQ Resource Center, and others.

With respect to environmental projects, Volunteers Changing Lives plans to continue work on critical habitat restoration in collaboration with the San Diego River Park Foundation, and to assist efforts led by San Diego Canyonlands, and Project Wildlife.

ACP expects to encourage similar programs in other cities through affiliated organizations, and to continue work on global humanitarian projects in collaboration with Rainbow World Fund based in San Francisco.

To help make a difference, consider getting involved as a contributor or volunteer. If you lead or are involved with an innovative project with a demonstrable model for promoting change, please contact Advancing Compassion Project.

More information on ACP can be found on the web at http://www.AdvancingCompassion.org, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AdvancingCompassion, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/HelpLoveGrow.

About Advancing Compassion Project

Advancing Compassion Project (ACP) is a California-based nonprofit fostering innovation within community-based charitable organizations. ACP’s "ProPhilanthropy" initiative raises awareness and support for breakthrough projects addressing human, societal or environmental issues, and helps donors make contributions having more strategic and lasting value. "Volunteers Changing Lives" is an affiliated communitarian service program connecting ACP volunteers to targeted projects and other activities creating a positive impact within local communities. Learn more at http://www.advancingcompassion.org.

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Tyler Dylan-Hyde
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