The Pantry That Gave Me More Than Food

The Pantry That Gave Me More Than Food

I changed my major over it.
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For years I have been struggling to figure out what I want to do, what my major should be, and where I want to go in life. I've always been good at science so for the past year I have been an "intended mathematics and engineering" major. I figured if I'm good at something it must be what I'm supposed to be doing right? It wasn't until very very recently that I realized I'm not passionate about science. Sure, I absolutely love spending the day in a science museum and I will talk to you for hours about the wonders of physics, but the thought of having a career where I live science every day doesn't excite me.


This summer I found myself waking up on the first ring of my 6 o'clock alarm on a Saturday morning eager to get to work. I spend my Saturdays volunteering at Sent By Ravens Food Pantry, a donation and volunteer-run non-profit based in Livonia, New York. The volunteers there are so caring and welcoming sometimes they are more excited to see me home from college than my own parents. A few weeks after I had been home for summer break I mentioned to the executive director, Anne Ranieri, that I was already bored with being home and looking for my next adventure. She told me "You're going to regret that you ever said that." and proceeded to give me tasks she needed expert help on.

Most of the problems they were experiencing involved not understanding the opportunities - they had to expand the non-profit through technology: using Google apps to streamline information sharing and data processing, creating a Facebook page to keep clear and open communication with donors as well as clients, and updating the website to allow clients to sign up for our services at home before they even step into our pantry. They were all things most millennials could do in a weekend on their laptop, SBR (Sent By Ravens Food Pantry) just didn't have anyone with the know-how.

After officially deeming myself the non-profit's communications manager, I set to work to solve some of their problems. Within the first week of launching their new Facebook page, one of the posts I had created and taken photos for (to thank the girls in the photo above for doing some painting at our pantry) had been seen by over 1,500 people and was shared 11 times all by people in the community that our pantry serves. Sure it was just a photo online, and that doesn't mean all of those people will now start coming to SBR to donate or shop, but now they know we exist and maybe they will look into our services or recommend us to a friend in need. I probably checked that post every 20 minutes for 3 days just watching the views go up.

I realized that non-profits are just like any other business in that they need someone with the knowledge and passion for doing all the jobs that keep an organization running. For a split second, I thought about going into communications, but that's just not me. Maybe I wouldn't be happy in a science career but I definitely wouldn't be happy going every day pretending science isn't like, the coolest thing ever. SBR showed me that I could get a degree in something I love (like computer science) and use it for something I'm passionate about.

Thank you SBR for everything you've done for me, you have given me way more than just food... although those Panera cookies are the bomb.


To learn more about Sent By Ravens Food Pantry and what they can do for you go to our website, find us on Facebook, or just reach out to me! If you would just like to see cute daily posts from me about the great work SBR is doing, Like our page on Facebook!

Cover Image Credit: alphacoders

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on

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I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

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If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb

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This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

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I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

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I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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