Thursday, October 27, 2011

Faith versus Fear

Three weeks ago I started the "Griot Course" on fighting global hunger issues sponsored by the World Food Program, WFP-USA and ONE. As a Speech Communication Instructor, and being an extrovert, speaking up has not usually been an issue for me. However, in all my experience, when it came to "political issues" I would shy away. Don't get me wrong, I always exercised my right to vote firmly believing that if I didn't, I didn't have the right to share my opinions on how the government was doing. But beyond that I rarely got involved in the political process. So when our first week's activity was to write our congressional representatives, I knew I was going to be pushed outside of my comfort zone. This is when I knew I was truly going to learn something beyond the statistics of the class, I was going to learn about myself.

One of the largest lessons I've learned about myself from the class so far was that I was going to have to rely on faith versus fear. I'm not talking necessarily about faith from a higher power, although for many people that would definitely tie in here. Once I recognized this lesson and actually implemented it, I discovered stepping outside of my comfort zone wasn't as scary as I first believed. Here's how I needed to reframe my perspective to focus away from fear on more on faith:

  1. I shouldn't fear sounding ignorant. I should focus on what I know and proceed with confidence and faith in myself.
  2. I shouldn't be afraid to ask for help. Instead, I should have faith that people will step up when I make my request honestly and from the heart.
  3. Fear of failure demonstrates itself as pessimism while faith sparks optimism.
  4. Fear of being just one person discounts the power one can have if they put faith in the power of many.

The further I go in this course the more relevant these revelations become. In fact, I based my entire class project around these themes and now, instead of allowing fears to overshadow the project, I have faithfully put it out there, in hopes that people, people like YOU, will step up and accept the challenge to make a difference along with me.

Please learn more, I'm faithfully counting on you: Eleventh Hour Challenge

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Copy of Letter to send to YOUR 11

Hello Team11 member! Thank you for being willing to be one of my 11 people for the “Eleventh Hour Challenge”. The information you will need is contained in the website at the bottom of this text. I really appreciate you accepting this challenge to 1) donate food locally, 2) donate food globally by playing for Team11 (there is no space between “Team” and “11”) at, and 3) recruiting 11 other people to do steps 1 through 3 (including getting 11 new people on board).

As we want to make this as successful as possible, let’s try and avoid the “chain letter” feel that this could easily take causing participation to drop. If you would, please consider calling and talking to your 11 recruits in person, before you pass along this information and website. Hopefully that will make this more personal and we’ll get a better response.

Top 11 TIPS:

1) Please feel free to recruit more than 11 people. If you recruit more than 11, we’ll have a better chance of growing our numbers and helping more people in need here and abroad.

2) Make it sound fun and easy—because it is!

3) Appeal to their good will—this really can make a difference locally and globally.

4) Acknowledge that trying to recruit 11 people is not always a comfortable thing for people to do, but when asked in person, most of us are willing to help out our friends. So appeal to them on this level by recognizing it might be uncomfortable but you hope they still do it because people can and will step up.

5) Think about people you know who would be most likely to help you out and participate in this worthy cause.

6) Create a “buzz” on your social networks by talking about it. Better yet, post pictures of you playing free rice, your non-perishable foods, and/or the place where you made your food donation. Upload your photos to the Team11 Facebook site or the blog donation record site: and share that on your networks.

7) Continue the conversation when you’ve made your donations. Go to the Facebook page or the donation blog to record your donations in some manner (pounds, number of items, it doesn’t have to be dollar amount, but listing at least the WHERE you donated, helps others see that donations are being made all across the country—maybe even the world.)

8) Think of other ways to get the word out and to challenge organizations to take part (businesses, places of worship, service organizations, schools, etc.)

9) Have fun with the theme of 11. You’ll see a lot of the challenge encourages 11s (11 people, 11 minutes, 11 pounds, 1100 grains of rice, etc.) This is only a recommendation. Of course you can do much more in order to benefit more people.

10) Send out a reminder before 11-11-11 (November 11, 2011). Remind people that even if 11-11-11 has passed, we want this to keep going and keep growing—so don’t let the date stop you.

11) To make passing on the information easier, consider saving this document and then sending it on as an attachment to your recruits. (I’ve been told the file format “rtf” is most the easily read by the most types of computers.)

Thanks again!

Here is the website for the Eleventh Hour Challenge with other information you might need.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eleventh Hour Team11 Donation Record

On Nov. 11, 2011, as part of a special "Eleventh Hour Challenge" to combat local and global hunger a call to action was put out to donate nonperishable food to local food shelves. This was step 2 in a 3 step challenge. If you donated food to your area food shelf, please post a comment to this blog entry with the following information:

* Where was the food donated?
* If you're willing to share: Give us a glimpse of what was donated? (Recommended ideas of what to donate but not required: 11 pounds, or 11 items or $11 worth of non-perishable food. You're your own best judge of what you can do.)

If you are just learning about this event, please consider it YOUR call to action and even if the date has passed, please still consider making a donation and letting us know. Thanks!

Please also consider playing for the group TEAM11. That is the first item in this 3-step challenge.

Part of the impact of social networking, is seeing how powerful we can be when we inspire each other, work together, share our ideas and encourage others to do the same. So step 3 is to challenge 11 other people with the three-step challenge. So pass this on and let's make a difference in the fight against local and global hunger!

Please click here to check the original challenge or to get more specific directions on any of the steps.

Eleventh Hour Challenge

*1 out of 7 people tonight will go to bed hungry

* 1 out of every 4 children in developing countries are underweight

* Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger


There are steps we can take to try and make a difference in changing those statistics. However, for millions of lives, we are running out of time, we are in the eleventh hour. Therefore, the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 2011 (11-11-11) is being designated to combat local and global hunger through what I’m calling my “Eleventh Hour Challenge.” Although that day is the official inspiration for the challenge, actions can be taken before, on and even after that day. This call to action incorporates new and old technologies - new and old ways of working together to help address hunger. Three specific actions are requested of you:

1) Donate non-perishable food items to your local food shelf and report your donation to the Team11 blog site. Any amount is appreciated, however my Eleventh hour recommended donation would be, of course, 11 items, $11 or 11 pounds :)

2) Donate rice for the United Nation’s World Food Program by playing for TEAM11 at (directions can be found below). Play for 11 minutes or to a minimum of 1100 or 11,000 grains of donated rice. (This is actually much easier than it sounds.)

3) Recruit 11 other people to repeat steps 1-3. Start recruiting people now and let's get this ball rolling (and keep it rolling)! To clarify: Each person is being challenged to do all three steps, which means that each person recruits at least 11 people. You completing step 3 (recruiting 11 people, who recruit 11 people, etc.) can have a larger ripple effect than you can imagine. Let's do the math: We start with 1 person recruiting 11, but if they recruit 11 then we are at 133 people (the originator, the first 11, and each of their 11). But if those new 11 recruit 11 new people we end up at 1464. So don't be scared to ask. The power of networking is limitless but only if we do all three steps including asking 11 people to help us out and in turn do the same. As those numbers grow, we are making a bigger difference by helping out more communities and more individuals in need.

Special note: Although ideally we want people playing on 11-11-2011, we want as many people playing as possible. So please start your recruiting as soon as you can. Team11 is already set up at so you can get a jump start on donating too. However, if you were recruited on or after 11-11-2011, it's not too late. Participate anyway and let's keep this going and continue to make a change.


A. Go to (or click here).

B. Create a username and password for your individual account (but play for our Eleventh hour group—keep reading below to learn how).

C. Once you have your username and password, go to “GROUPS” at the top of the free rice page. (PS if you already have a Freerice username/password you may use that but make sure to do the rest of the steps below to get counted as part of our group)

D. Under the group tab, search for “Team11” (no space between team and 11)

E. Click on Team11 when you find it.

F. From within that group hit “Play.” (MAKE SURE "Team11" displays above the wooden rice bowl. If not, you might not actually be in the Team11 group setting--so try the search again. There are a few glitches and it might kick you out every once in awhile depending on how many people are playing around the world, so keep your eye on that "Team11" label which is again viewable if you look just above the box with the wooden rice bowl.)

G. Select any of the categories and start answering the multiple-choice questions. Each correct answer adds 10 grains of rice to your total and TEAM11 total. This is why it is important to play through that group.

H. You can change question categories or reset levels if the questions get too hard. Just make sure you are still playing for Team11.

I. Recommendation: Play for at least 11 minutes, until you’ve reached 1100 grains of rice. However, you are strongly encouraged to do much more if you can. Make it fun--for example, challenge a friend to friendly competition—the one who earns the most has to buy you lunch.

Other Ideas:

· If you work with students, give extra credit to those who earn 1100 grains of rice or more that day or hold a school food drive that day and don’t forget to report your results at

· If you work at a business where this would be appropriate, designate 11 minutes for your workers to play for Team11. Or have one computer set up with a username/password for Team11 at and have an 11 hour marathon at that computer to see how high your company’s/school’s tally can go

· Create your own Team11 event and post your event details/results/photos to the Eleventh Hour blog post at or the Team11 Facebook group:

· Tag your social media events with both of the following hashtags:

o #TEAM11

o #hungry4change

· Find out more about the fight against global hunger by visiting



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blog Action Day - Sunday, October 16th, 2011


Today, October 16th, 2011 is World Food Day. This is a day that is held annually to commemorate the founding of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. It is a day to talk, reflect and even act on such issues as food production, hunger, sustainability, and dare I say...privilege. There are many ways people can participate in this global day of awareness. I've listed just a few ideas. I hope you will find ways to talk, reflect, and even act on this World Food Day and the days to come. Thanks!

Here they are, in no order of importance:

1) Make Sunday a special meal day. Whether you have a dinner party or a meal with your family, think about what you're eating, where it came from, how it got to your table, what meals others may or may not be having, and what you can do locally and globally to not take food for granted.

A) For a menu of recipes from Around the World gathered in honor of World Food Day see:
B) For more information on making your Sunday dinner special and for a message on World Food Day from Desmund TuTu:

2) Learn more about global hunger by taking the Wold Food Day Quiz from Save the Children:

3) Embed this quiz in your own blog or share the link with your family, friends, and social media followers

B) To embed the link: Go to the site above and click on the link provided right below the quiz which says "click here to get the embed code"

4) Donate rice to impoverished communities by playing, a charitable game program sponsored by the United Nation's World Food Program. Set up a free account and if you would, please find the group "Service for CLC" at that site by clicking on "groups". Then through the group site for Service for CLC play away!!! Each correct answer adds 10 grains of rice to help those in need.

5) Follow the blog action on Twitter: @blogactionday11 I'm sure there will be more interesting tips, stories, and resources shared!

Thank you for your time and consideration!