Summer of 1,000 Dinners

Posted on: October 1, 2009 by The Stove Monkey in Events

A New Season for Giving: medWish International’s Summer of 1,000 Dinners

1,000 dinners in one summer may sound like a hefty amount of grub, and believe me it is, but it’s also been a pretty awesome way to help medWish International raise some serious dough for a great cause.

For those unfamiliar with the organization, medWish is a non-profit based in Cleveland that’s committed to the collection, recycle, and reallocation of literal tons of medical supplies that would otherwise be discarded due to strict sanitation regulations in the U.S. Last year alone, medWish diverted an incredible 225.8 tons (fun fact: same weight of the Statue of Liberty) of medical supplies from landfills to regions all over the world—in places where people needlessly suffer because their health institutions lack the necessary medical supplies to care for them.

Yet ,as a tough economy leads to belts tightening everywhere, the large volumes of generous donations from the community and funds raised from annual events like the Band-Aid Bash gala just weren’t going to be enough this year. medWish was looking to find other creative sources of capital, and finding a simple way to get cash from something people would likely already be doing – like having dinner at home or going out to eat – seemed like a great way to do this, and hence Summer of 1,000 Dinners was born.

MedWish event coordinator Stephanie Jansky, who’d previously worked with me on the Flavors of Northeast Ohio event, asked if I might be willing to provide some culinary input for this “micro-fundraiser” concept, which I of course was happy to help with. This included developing menus and recipes for those planning to host home fundraising get-togethers throughout the course of the summer, with all proceeds going directly to medWish. We also got to work with great Cleveland-area restaurants like Table 45, The Barking Spider, Bar Cento, Rummy’s Bar & Grille, and Rumba, who all hosted fundraising nights that generated some beaucoup bucks.

We kicked off Summer of 1,000 Dinners on May 9th at a totally kick-ass party at the Cleveland Clinic Parker Building medWish facility. At the eco-friendly event, Guests mingled with medWish beneficiaries over local food, wine, and beer tastings. Tours of the medWish facility as well as international musical performances were enjoyed by all. The good times and giving keep on rollin’ through this October 31, and some very generous supporters have even agreed to host fundraising parties through the holiday season.

If you’re interested in getting involved, there’s definitely still time, and even soiree hosting skeptics can find more than enough guided inspiration at the “http://1000dinners.medwish.org/index.html“Summer of 1,000 Dinners site. If you still can’t wrap your head around throwing your own thing, you can attend an “open” event by visiting the “http://1000dinners.medwish.org” site and viewing the list of these upcoming events. And of course, there is always the ability to donate directly at “http://www.medWish.org” by clicking on the “donate” tab.

I can’t say how amazing it is to see people opening their doors and their homes for this—it is absolutely remarkable. The success of Summer of 1,000 Dinners really shows that however tough times may be for us all these days, people are still taking the time to help the truly less fortunate. At the end of the day, that keeps me so amped to stay involved in projects like this, and love every minute of it.

- Mytro

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