January 25, 2013 By BJ Cook,

Here at DO, we really take people//planet//profit to heart. That is why, as a benefit to our employees, we offer a Volunteer Day Off. It encourages our team to take one day off per year to give back to their community. With that said, we've already had a few DOers that have taken advantage of this fabulous benefit to help a charity of their choice. Denise Pena (Marketing) and Carina Nicklaw (UX) both volunteered their time to Feeding America. For those that aren't familiar with this organization, they are the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Feeding America accomplishes this through a nationwide network of food banks, with a mission to engage the public in the fight against hunger. Carina got to work in the food bank in December, helping to pack "Friday to-go Bags" but on this particular day it was also "Farm to Kids" day, so the bags were packed with fresh fruit and a note with healthy tips to help kids to get a better grasp on nutrition. Carina remarked she thought this was special "because it is so important for kids to get much needed nutrients through fresh produce". But Feeding America wasn't the only recipient of our DO-goodery; our resident blog dynamo, Adam Lundquist, also volunteered in December and gave his time to the San Diego Rescue Mission. The mission also focuses on feeding San Diego's homeless. Adam and his girlfriend Courtney served meals to the poor at the mission.  Adam noted the sense of accomplishment he felt getting to help out those less fortunate and hopes to volunteer at another food bank in 2013. With all this volunteering at local food banks, we dug up some facts about hunger in our area that you may find shocking:
- 1 in 4 kids in San Diego County struggle with hunger (they don't have a reliable food source outside of school lunches) - At Feeding America  bags of oranges were packed for 480 low income kids at Lincoln High School (a staggering 20% of school population)
As we move into the new year, we will have plenty of upcoming posts about the great organizations that our DOers donate their time to. We hope that reading these posts and learning about these great local organizations will inspire you to donate your time as well. If you do, please feel free to let us know in the comments. *Shannon D'Orsi is DOs Office Manager and resident sender of kitten gifs. She is also terrible at Kickball

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