November 2011

You can take THAT to the bank…The Foodbank!

Sometimes when I look back on my life, I think of all the food that I’ve wasted.  There were so many times growing up that I would just not eat all of the food on my plate because I was either too stubborn to listen to my parents when they told me to finish it, or the food just tasted really bad (sorry Mom).  My parents would do the “make him feel guilty” trick by saying, “You know, there are starving kids in Africa who would love to eat this food that you are wasting.”  That was pretty much the same moment I would drop the food on the floor and feed the not-so-starving dog. 

I don’t know why people use the starving kids in Africa as an excuse to not waste food.  What about the starving kids in Canada?   Or even closer…Cleveland, Ohio?!  Does it make us feel better to pretend that only other countries/continents have hunger issues?  A little local fact:  Cleveland Foodbank helped provide over 30 million meals to families in need around the Greater Cleveland area this past year.  As great as that sounds, the need is for 50 million meals!

The Cleveland Indians front office did a fraction of their part this week as part of their “Week of Caring.”  On November

photo courtesy of Dan Mendlik

16, they held their annual food drive outside of Progressive Field.  With a huge help from Progressive Insurance, they were able to collect enough food for close to 7,500 meals!  We even had about 15 Progressive IRV’s stop by the ballpark to drop off over 155 boxes of food.

photo courtesy of Dan Mendlik

The next portion of our “Week of Caring” involved our front office employees swinging by the Cleveland Foodbank to help sort, package, and fix up some meals on the morning of November 18.  Partnering in the community once again were our friends at Progressive Insurance, who took over the afternoon shift after the Indians employees finished the morning shift. 

Our final day of the “Week of Caring” ends with a Thanksgiving Dinner served by members of the Indians executive staff, including Mark Shapiro, Paul Dolan, Chris Antonetti, and many more!  Five local charities were invited to bring 75 people each to attend the dinner at no cost to them.  Delaware North Companies (the food partner with the Cleveland Indians) prepared and donated the food.  The dinner takes place on Sunday, November 20 and is intended to provide a hearty Thanksgiving dinner for those families that may not have been able to afford one.

“I can’t believe we drove around all day, and there is not a single job in this town!” “Yeah, unless you want to work 40 hours a week!”

When I decided to move home from California it wasn’t easy finding a job, especially finding one in the city I grew up in and for a sports team that I grew up watching.  I applied online for positions around Cleveland for over a year and a half; all returning the same results of me not being qualified for the positions I wanted, or the positions were filled by a better candidate (I’m not sure how that is possible seeing as how I am perfect in every way, but whatever). 

After numerous rejections, I finally decided to re-create my resume.  The fact that I was still showing that I lettered in Cross Country and Track in high school, or that I was a medical marvel when it came to academics really didn’t wow any potential employers.  I needed to create a resume that would make those employers think that I knew what I was doing and that it related to what position I was applying for.  “Buzz words” were no longer deemed stupid and a waste of time.  These words helped twist simple job experience tasks into a sophisticated work of resume art.  Drove a van for Amish workers?  Try: Transportation Specialist for Constructional Engineers.  Picked up horse manure?  I prefer: Gathered and disposed of trusty steed remnants.  See how that makes the task seem much more important?  By the way, I grew up in and around Amish Country for those wondering about these odd jobs.  And no, I’m not sure who decided to hire me at the Indians based on my past job experience.

Anyway,  a resume is a very important piece of getting hired for a job.  The past two days, members of the Cleveland Indians front office have been volunteering their time at Glenville High School teaching students how to create their resumes.  Partnering with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.), the volunteers  work with the students on building successful resumes as well as fielding any questions they may have about the job market.  Y.O.U. provides a resume building software that the students use, saves the resumes on their main server so they can be updated at any time, and presents the students with 10 copies each of their new professional resumes!

Youth Opportunities Unlimited’s mission is to empower youth–disadvantaged youth born into poverty–to succeed in school, in the workplace, and in life.  For more information, visit