A much-needed wake-up call….

coast-head-shotFor those who don’t know yet, I recently moved back to New York following a 3 year snow reprieve.  Upon my return, I started doing the morning show at a new radio station, and was immediately overwhelmed with the sudden demands from a thriving sales department, my new brutal schedule -with a 2am wake-up call- and the daily rigors of marriage and motherhood.  As you can imagine, I’ve been cranky and drained, and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself about 3 weeks ago, when I happened to receive an invitation to host an event for a local charity on Long Island.  I grudgingly agreed to participate (because frankly, I was feeling like a charity case myself -no sleep, barely eating, and looking pretty disheveled at times when I’ve been too pooped to even comb my hair).  Little did I know that charity event would change my outlook so significantly, and make me realize how lucky I really am. 

Island Harvest was created in 1992 by a petite gal named Linda Breitstone -who’s heart is so big I’m surprised it fits in her tiny body!  One day Linda noticed a local convenience store was throwing out a large amount of food at the end of the day.  She asked the owner if she could take the food and donate it to a neighboring soup kitchen.  The owner agreed, and Island Harvest was born.  Since then, Island Harvest has become the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island. 

I had no idea hunger was such an enormous problem just miles from the bright lights of Manhattan.  It was even more heart-breaking to learn that more than four hundred thousand CHILDREN go to bed hungry at night.  As I mother, I knew there was no turning back. I’ve become personally involved with the organization, and will continue to do whatever I can to spread their message.  Toys are great for needy kids during the holidays, getting a new coat is wonderful for their parents, but a meal is something no one should ever have to go without. 

 I know I’ve got an endless amount of blessings to be thankful for this year.  

 Happy Thanksgivingisland harvest event

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Maria Garcia-Kalb

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6 thoughts on “A much-needed wake-up call….

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Our turkey is in the oven.

    2am??????????? Is that *daily*? Wow.

    It is sobering to think of hunger in Long Island! I admit I tend to imagine it in faraway places. Thanks for the reminder.

    And thanks for the work you do with Island Harvest!

  2. Thanks for sharing a great piece, Maria. Hunger is everywhere. On our tiny island, which some would call an island of affluence and artists (and they’re not necessarily exclusive of each other like you might think), where real estate is out of control high, and many people are retired in very nice homes, our foodbank is overwhelmed, trying to help the hungry. And every month sees a rise in the people asking for assistance. Glad to hear you’ve found a cause close to your heart!

  3. Maria
    I always told you of your calling in life and the diffrence you can make in someone life. I am proud of you! You have a BIG heart!
    Today I went to Miami Rescue Mission and I saw the same thing as far as children needing food while other people throw food away on a daily basis!
    PS. I can’t wait to see how you will change the world once your book will take off on JAN 18, 2010!!!!
    I love you!!
    Your friend

  4. Very nice post, Maria. Matt and I ran a 5K yesterday, on Thanksgiving, to support our local food pantry. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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