Fall of 2015 has been an exceptionally busy time for live civilly. Now in December, while people are gearing up for the holidays and the end of the year, live civilly is gearing up for “what’s next?” This fall has been full of service opportunities, community outreach, community partnerships and most of all, “people helping people helping people helping people.” live civilly has many people to thank for their kind consideration during the holiday season that will allow us to continue to serve people after the holiday lights have dimmed and 2016 is well under way.

live civilly has worked diligently over the last five years to establish personal relationships with hundreds of volunteers, local organizations and facilities, business partners and more, in order to achieve a broad base of support for programs and initiatives. The growth of our programs as well as the breadth of our reach has surpassed our hopes and in 2016 we are well poised for “what IS next.”

The newest live civilly partnership started with an email inquiry from, and subsequent conversation in October with, NFL Films. Led by W.I.N. (Women In the NFL) Member and outreach coordinator, Maryann Wemberly, NFL Films selected live civilly when looking for a local, grass-roots organization to partner with for their annual company outreach initiative. live civilly visited NFL Films, met and talked with the outreach committee about our organization as well as volunteer opportunities for employees and families of NFL Films. The W.I.N. Committee was thrilled to learn that there were volunteer opportunities, not just for the employees but also for their families. Wemberly explained that employees were tired of being “uninvolved donors” – that they wanted an organization they could connect to and one they could share with their children. NFL Films rounded out our end-of-year initiatives by hosting a two week long food drive as well as an employee donation-matching program.

On Friday, December 11, live civilly representatives and volunteers met NFL Films Representatives and volunteers at the live civilly/Moorestown Ministerium Food Pantry (LCMMFP). The overwhelming donation of more than 700 pounds of food in addition to financial contributions from the staff and the league, were a wonderful way to round out the year! Looking forward to 2016 live civilly is hopeful that the Life Skills initiatives that were established in our charter will become a reality with NFL Films and our other community partners. As a result of NFL Films generosity and the generosity of recent other donors, live civilly was able to share its bounty with Bethel AME Food Pantry and the Food Pantry at First Baptist Church of Moorestown. live civilly operates with the mindset that partnerships, collaborations, and a broad base of support allows us to more successfully support more people – not only were the shelves at the LCMMFP filled but we could also make significant donations to other partner pantries!

Similarly, in late November, the Moorestown Rotary Breakfast Club requested an opportunity to partner with live civilly for the holiday season. Members Rob Mazza and Grant Leuliette invited live civilly to attend the meeting prior to Thanksgiving. They explained that live civilly had been selected to benefit from their annual holiday food drive Members generously brought bags and boxes of food and the club offered financial support to help live civilly. What was most intriguing to Members of the club, was that all of live civilly’s initiatives run as a result of youth community service. Club members were most interested to hear that live civilly is not simply an organization that runs a food pantry. live civilly’s mission is to engage young people – REALLY YOUNG PEOPLE – like our Founders. The mission is to get them involved in their communities to recognize social needs and to make a difference. The goal is to create opportunities for children to become our next generation of decision makers with a social conscience.

So as 2015 draws to a close, live civilly wants to thank all of our partners – from our Volunteers, to our partner organizations to the communities we serve. Thank you to everyone who has chosen to be a part of the live civilly movement – because it is just that. A movement of ideas, initiatives and mindsets that are encouraging our youngest citizens to become involved. A movement of children, who are establishing roots of giving, roots of empathy, roots of benevolence and roots of problem solving, to identify those areas in our society where help is needed…and then providing that help. Thank you to the families, the adult mentors and the organizations that support these young people so that they can be people helping people helping people helping people. We look forward to seeing all of you in2016.

Happy Holidays. Peace and blessings to all.