The Home Stretch

Posted on December 16, 2010

It’s that time of year when everyone (even Barbara Walters) takes a look back at the year that was and starts to think about the interesting people they have come to know over the last 12 month.  As I sit here today, I couldn’t help but think…if it’s good enough for Barbara, it’s good enough for me.  Therefore, without any further adieu, I present my list of the Top 3 Most Influential People to Areyvut in 2010.  (Please note: This list is in no particular order.)

* The People Behind Disney’s Give a Day, Get a Disney Day Program *
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still shudder every time I think back to the days when Areyvut was involved with this program.  Creating the programs for volunteers to be involved with was the easy part…working collaboratively with The Points of Light Institute, otherwise known as those in charge of running the show on behalf of Disney was a whole other story.  I knew the phone number and prompts for Points of Light within a few days of signing on to facilitate programs and had spoken to nearly everyone in the office.  I was put on hold so often I knew the entire recording that was played within a few days as well.  I had the number programmed into my cell phone and sent emails praising some who worked there that went above and beyond what I am sure their job was.  It seemed that each time I posted a new opportunity there was always something wrong with it, usually with the semantics of the description.  It wasn’t that the Points of Light people didn’t want me to give great volunteer opportunities to people who otherwise may not volunteer (and get rewarded with a free day at Disney Park), they just wanted to ensure that wording wise we could all be on board with the same project.
Yes, being involved with this program was quite the headache for me.  However, we had over 100 people involved in community service projects from January through April with a variety of different organizations serving the community.  A few aspirin later and everyone was happy that children, parents, teens, etc. could volunteer and earn a free Disney Day!
* Peter Shankman *
Okay, if I’m being honest, Peter Shankman, the man behind HARO (Help a Reporter Out) came into the life of Areyvut in late 2009, but since he’s never so much as been mentioned publicly by an Areyvut staff member, I thought this would be the perfect time and platform.  Though I’ve never met (or for that matter, even spoken with) Peter Shankman before, his mission is simple enough…he sends out listings from reporters of the types of stories they are looking to write or produce to a huge list of people, thus helping a reporter out.  I thoroughly enjoy receiving my daily emails (that’s right, it’s plural) and never know the kinds of things I will read about.  Though I have never responded to a reporter’s request for help or input (mainly because I haven’t yet fit the bill for anything), I thoroughly enjoy perusing the variety of topics. 
Keep up the good work Peter!
* Mollie Feldman *
Though I could have written down any interns name from the 2010 group (shout outs to Aliza C., Aliza R., Becky, Elisheva, Hannah and Ilana) I selected Mollie for one reason and one reason only…it’s not her commitment to Areyvut’s cause, the fact that she worked on “Make a Difference” Day like nobody’s business or that she’s from Wyoming by way of Nebraska…no, it’s because she does cabaret…something we only learned a few weeks ago.  Mollie was selected to represent all of the interns and encourage them to keep surprising us and the rest of the world with their great talents. 
Wishing everyone a wonderful few more days of 2010 and a fantastic start to 2011!
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