Comic-Con@Home 2021 SuperVolunteer Challenge: Volume 5
Amanda S., San Diego, CA says: Throughout the past year, I’ve been donating supplies and food to various organizations throughout San Diego. Every year for Comic-Con, I make little goody bags with deodorant, bandaids, hand wipes and other small items like snacks and gum, etc, and pass them out to people during the con. Since Comic-Con and WonderCon both got cancelled this year, I decided I would donate those items to the Convention Center downtown for Operation Shelter to Home since they’re housing so many people there. I donated some items to Father Joe's Villages, and also Feeding America. I also donated school supplies when the migrant children were at the Convention Center for a few months this year.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been doing major quarantine cleaning these past 18 months or so, and I'm always so happy to donate things to various organizations throughout San Diego County. I absolutely love volunteering my time at events throughout Southern California and can't wait to get back into it soon!! I'm so proud of the Convention Center and how San Diego came together to utilize the building for so many causes during the pandemic and am proud to say I volunteer at San Diego Comic-Con each and every year. I cannot wait for next summer's convention, and the Special Edition November event.
Sue (Director of Volunteer Services) says: You may remember Amanda from the 2020 SuperVolunteer challenge. She is still at it and we are glad she is. That's a lotta stuff you have in that photo, Amanda! I'm sure you have made many people happy and more comfortable with these items. Thank you for your generosity!
John G., Las Vegas, NV says: I have been volunteering at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum since 2016. I do Docenting along with helping with special projects including traveling exhibit setup. Helped out with several fundraising events in the past when they could be held in the traditional way. Lately my help has been helping to keep social distancing along with cleaning surfaces that are touched a lot.
Sue says: This sounds so interesting! I bet you have learned a lot by being a Docent. Fascinating! And you clean, too! What a guy! Thanks, John!!
Maria T., San Diego, CA says: I donate blood to the San Diego Blood Bank every 9-11 weeks. I took a break when I broke my wrist back in April 2019. I resumed donating on Valentine's Day 2020, and I decided to make it an annual tradition to donate on February 14. My next donation is scheduled on my birthday in September. Oh, I also took a break when I was pregnant with my son in 2011.
As donors have to wait at least 8 weeks between donation types, I have intentionally scheduled appointments so that I could be eligible to donate during the annual Robert H. Heinlein Blood Drive, which I look forward to every year as part of my Comic-Con experience. There's currently a critical need for donations, so I donated before the drive event this year.
I started donating blood in high school in the mid-80s for the free donuts, orange juice, and t-shirts. I'd donate here and there over the years. A number of companies I have worked for have held regular onsite blood drives, which made it really convenient to donate.
This photo was taken last month, at the Sabre Springs Donor Center, and I'm wearing last year's SDCC blood drive t-shirt!
Sue says: This is so cool, Maria! You have given the gift of life to so many people over so many years. I am in AWE!!
Kathy F., Streamwood, IL says: I have been donating blood for over 20 years now. Originally, I just wanted to know what my blood type was. But then I just kept on donating, because it felt good to help others out. I try to donate blood 4-5 times a year. On February 2, 2021, I donated my 100th pint of blood. I would've gotten to #100 a little bit sooner than I did, but a number of years ago, for a few donations in a row, I had trouble reaching the minimum iron level you need, to donate blood; usually just a fraction under the minimum level. Very frustrating. But I did finally sort out the issue. No problems, since then.
That's my story. Thanks for listening.
Sue says: Thanks for sharing, Kathy. Wow! 100 PINTS! That is awesome. Blood supplies are so low right now, people who have donated for years like you and Maria T. (above) are literally life savers. Well done!
Lavinia L., Rome, Italy says: Hi, this year I want to tell about a little thing I organized in my neighborhood during our latest lockdown here in Italy (around April).
We had been told that most of Italy would become a “Red Zone” again, and I knew many people wouldn’t be able to get some needed items easily, so I organized something with a few stores in my area....they would get the request of the needed items from their customers, and I would go pick them up and bring them to them.
The “Red Zone” lasted only a few weeks, so it wasn’t too crazy, but I enjoyed doing it, and it gave me something to do, too, since I’m disabled and really needed to move more.
Oh, adding this cause it happened just today. Went to my normal hospital visit, and got asked if I wanted to take part in a test study to see how the vaccine’s cellular immunity develops in someone with immunodeficiency....sooo, I’m guessing I’m doing this as well now. It consists of three blood tests during the period of a year to check the immunity’s response. Hopefully they’ll discover that we keep enough antibodies in our bodies.
Sue says: Thanks to you, Lavinia, the "Red Zone" became the "Comfort Zone" for a lot of people in your area. That was so thoughtful of you. And now you are part of a study that might help a lot more people. Grazie mille!!
Serena H, Houghton-Le-Spring, England says: I've recently been aiding my local community with their vaccination sites. Since England has opened up vaccinations for those eighteen and over, sites have been extremely busy which is fantastic to see! Although, this also means that the sites have been in desperate need for volunteers.
As a volunteer, I have had a number of tasks, such as directing people around the building, helping them park when busy, and checking that everyone who enters is wearing a mask unless exempt and have their appointments starting within the next ten minutes of their arrival. I, of course, have not been doing nearly as much as others who are administering the vaccines or even those who have worked tirelessly to help us all in their creations! It's definitely a small part in the wider ongoings, and I feel extremely lucky and grateful to have even been such a tiny part in a much larger part of history and help in any way that I am able to.
Sue says: For someone who thinks they are only a tiny part, you have made a HUGE difference in your community and the tasks you did really helped all the others who were working in the vaccine sites. Don't short-change yourself - CONGRATULATE yourself and wear your SuperVolunteer badge proudly!
Irving C., Tijuana, Mexico says: I'm sending you the photos of my activities as a volunteer. These activities were assigned by the non-profit organization of the church that my family goes to.
We were assigned to clean certain areas of the city, those that were considered some of the dirtiest and that needed to be clean specifically because of interaction with the people; it's well known that dirty areas are more likely to host the COVID, which is a risk for the neighborhood.
This time, besides doing the labor of cleaning the areas, we've purchased food and different supplies that we will be giving to the people who live in this neighborhood. Everything was brought with our own money. This includes items such as instant soup, rice, beans, bread and soap (for dishes) and we also feed some of the animals there were around.
Sue says: Irving sent a lot of photos, so here are just a few of them. Of course, I like the ones with the kitties. I have two cats at home. (Or I should say, they have me. After all, dogs have masters, cats have staff.) The cleanup effort is amazing and all the other things you and your church group are doing are outstanding! Thank you to all involved.
Michael M., Ramona, CA says: On Monday, July 19, 2021, I volunteered at Saving Animals & Healing Hearts (https://www.sahh4life.org/) together with Laura P. and Heather P. SAHH is a small animal rescue organization located on a farm in Ramona, CA. We spent our time there feeding a variety of different animals including pigs, horses, donkeys and goats. I really enjoyed the experience. The animals were all very sweet.
Sue says: Sounds like fun (and a lot of work) for you three! I am all about the animals (I donate to a horse sanctuary and, oh, did I mention that I have cats?) and I appreciate all that you have done for SAHH and I'm sure they do, too. Fantastic!!
Mark S., Midland, MI says: I produced a series of public service announcements for ComicBooks For Kids!, a Chicago nonprofit. CB4K.ORG provides new comic books and pop culture items to children in hospitals and cancer centers across the United States as well as the military throughout the world. The campaign has received more than one dozen international film awards to date and will vie for a Chicago/Midwest Emmy nomination this Fall.
Sue says: According to an article Mark S. sent: "ComicBooks For Kids! CB4K.ORG, and ComicBooks For Troops! CB4T.ORG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides new comic books and pop culture items to children in hospitals and cancer centers across the United States as well as the military throughout the world. Mark Weiss, Founder and President of CB4K produced the spots along with Mark Starks of Midland, MI.
Weiss started the charity four years ago. It now supports 185+ hospitals in every state of the country and has shipped over 70,000 comic books and pop culture items in the last three years to all demographics.
At the end of last year, a sister charity, ComicBooks For Troops was also started and has already provided 35,000 comic books to the military in the last several months. “We are thrilled to work with Mark Starks and his creative personality,” Weiss said. “It is all about the kids and creating awareness to help as many children as we can. Mark is helping us achieve that goal.”
Here they are: THE TWO MARKS! (Mark S. on the right, Mark W. on the left.) Well done!! You both have earned the SuperVolunteer badges for all you've done for kids and our military everywhere. You guys rock!
That completes Comic-Con@Home 2021's SuperVolunteer Challenge!