Community Service Project Recap - VIP 14


We, Fiery 14, of Next Level Trainings VIP’s 14th leadership class, launched a large-scale community service project (CSP) for a local non-profit as part of our transformational curriculum. The selection process was intense.  Many VIP 14 members lobbied for the non-profit of their choice with the final contenders being put to a team vote.

Regardless of the outcome, our team committed to creating love, passion, and connection within our team, in the world, and especially for the non-profit that would be our focus. Our team voted to collaborate with Local Matters, a Columbus-based non-profit that works to ensure that everyone has the necessary skills and resources to eat well, feed their families, and to manage their health. Local Matters’ mission is to build healthier communities and combat diabetes and other diet-related diseases through food education, access, and advocacy.

As our team rallied together and the more we learned about Local Matters, the more important the vision became. Our team began to realize how much we were aligned to the mission of the organization and how it impacts us all! Local Matters works diligently to provide life-changing nutritional education to over 14,000 children, adults, and families each year.

Fiery 14 hit the ground running at the start of the campaign by making an audacious declaration to raise $175,000 for Local Matters. We reached out to corporations, local businesses, family, and friends to support this cause.  With a team of 50 individuals, 20 are satellite students living in other cities. Our campaign reached as far as South Carolina, Colorado, and even Canada. No matter where any of us were, we continued to push until the very last second of our campaign.

We held multiple events to raise money such as a Leprechaun Shop Hop on St. Patrick’s Day, a Gourmet Gala with silent auction, profit-sharing events, and we even held multiple flash mobs to garner attention for the cause. All items including food, event spaces, auctions items, and swag items were all donated for the events.

Our team surpassed our initial goal by raising a total of $177,390 during our 24-day campaign.  In addition to raising funds for Local Matters, our team sourced 347 tangible goods, and spent over 3,000 volunteer hours working on this project. We are thrilled with our results and are ecstatic about the impact we’ve made in such a short period of time.

Michelle Moskowitz Brown, Executive Director at Local Matters, emphasized the true impact of this support: “The efforts that you, as students in Next Level Trainings, are providing is a true blessing that many non-profits don’t get to experience. Knowing we have this windfall of funds is making a truly massive and transformational impact in our organization.”

It truly feels amazing to come together as a team to make a difference in the world!  We have shared, screamed, cried, hugged, danced, laughed and loved each other throughout this process of raising an extraordinary amount of money for Local Matters.  We were given an incredible opportunity to be the change we wish to see in the world and we are so proud of what our team has accomplished.

From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone who contributed to our campaign and supported us along the way.  We are truly grateful for the lessons we’ve learned and the connections we’ve created, not only within our team, but out in the world.