“Greg Weiss started the Community Service Event Holiday Food Drive 4 years ago with 2 main goals: Help feed the less fortunate in our community and teach our children/members of our program about charity and giving back. This started as a one-time community service event for Greg’s Circle and has now grown to an Annual Community Service Event that ALL Huntington Beach Expeditions participate in.”
– Emily Rader, Adventure Guides Program Director
“My daughter and I joined the Adventure Guides program about 5 years ago when she was 6 years old. During my second year in the program, the Chief of our Tribe, Eric Brooks, asked me if I would be the Chief the following year. Eric called me one day and said he had seen a troop of Boy Scouts collecting food in front of a grocery store by handing shoppers bags with ‘shopping lists’ attached. He asked if I thought it would be a good idea for our tribe… and I said I certainly did. So we worked together on the initial one which we scheduled for December 2012. We contacted the Orange County Food Bank and got a ‘shopping list’ from them. We then contacted 3 local supermarkets and asked if we could do it at their stores. And then we just did it one weekend. We were pleasantly surprised on a few fronts:
1. We collected a ton of food. No literally… a ton. 2,000 lbs.
2. Both the girls and the dads had a great time. It was easy for them to do… and it was well received by the community.
3. It was a great ‘growth’ experience for the girls. Some who were very shy at the beginning of the day were our best ‘saleswomen’ by the end of the day. They really got a lot of confidence by seeing the results of their efforts as food stacked up all around them.
That year we were recognized as a tribe (circle) by the Nation (Expedition) with a coveted ‘Spirit Award’. That is a traveling award given to a tribe for community service. So… we asked the Nation Longhouse (Expedition Basecamp) called the Great Hunting Valley Nation (GHV) if they wanted us to coordinate the effort for all the Tribes (Circles) the following year… to which they said of course. So the following year we had 7 other Tribes working the event also and we were able to collect 7,000 lbs of food during the same weekend. And similar to the prior year the Dads and Girls all had a great time and considered it a healthy experience. Last year we asked the ‘Boys’ nation, The Great Coastal Nation (GCN), if they wanted to participate. They did, and we collected 12,000 lbs of food. 6 Tons. I have run the food drive since its inception. Now that my time is ending with the Adventure Guides… my focus this year has been trying to institutionalize’ it so that when I am gone it carries on. I believe it will. I have found it very personally rewarding in that in addition to helping the community and the girls in our program, it has allowed me to make some great friends of the other dads who have stepped up to help over the years.”
– Greg Weiss