Diana Gregory Outreach Services (DGOS) began as a humble fresh produce delivery service in 2009, operating out of a pick-up truck. Over the years, it has evolved into a remarkable organization that supports thousands of seniors, including many veterans, through mobile food drives and nutrition education initiatives. With the generous support of the Walmart Foundation and a LISC Equitable Food Access grant, DGOS is expanding its reach, hiring more staff, and increasing the number of individuals it can serve.
A Personal Journey:
The inspiration for DGOS came when Dennis McGarry, a Vietnam War veteran, noticed the lack of resources available to his fellow veterans and other individuals facing food and housing insecurity. Determined to make a difference, he crossed paths with Diana Gregory, the founder and CEO of DGOS, during a cooking class for residents of his Phoenix apartment building. Together, they embarked on a mission to fight food insecurity, initially focusing on seniors, many of whom were veterans. Six years ago, DGOS expanded its efforts to include pop-up events at VA hospitals, providing much-needed support to those who have served their country.
From Humble Beginnings to Impactful Initiatives:
What began with a pickup truck and a dedicated team of volunteers has grown into a passion project for Diana Gregory. Having retired from a successful career in sales and marketing at Anheuser-Busch, she now leads an initiative that delivers thousands of pounds of fresh produce to those in need. Thanks to a $110,000 LISC Equitable Food Access grant, funded by the Walmart Foundation, DGOS is scaling up its efforts and plans to support 20,000 seniors and veterans with food access and nutrition education this year.
Supporting the Cause:
DGOS has received additional support through the Funds to Feed Initiative, made possible by the City of Phoenix and administered by LISC, totaling $175,000 since 2020. The recent Equitable Food Access grant will allow DGOS to increase the frequency of its distribution events and serve 20% more people compared to the previous year. This milestone would not have been possible without the funding provided by LISC, as acknowledged by Diana Gregory.
Expanding Reach and Volunteer Engagement:
The grant has enabled DGOS to hire more staff and pilot a volunteer engagement model that offers stipends to trained drivers responsible for packing and delivering fresh produce. La Shonya McNeil, a program officer with LISC’s health team, explains that this approach has attracted a dedicated group of veteran and senior volunteers who are committed to improving food access and fostering social connections among underserved individuals in Phoenix.
Addressing Food Inequities:
DGOS is one among eight LISC Equitable Food Access grantee partners working to combat local food system inequities throughout the United States. They employ various interventions, such as hosting neighborhood client choice food pantries and advocating for food policy changes. By supporting organizations like DGOS, LISC aims to ensure that those who have selflessly served their country have consistent access to nourishing food.
Filling an Overlooked Need:
While mental health issues and homelessness among veterans receive significant attention, the lack of food access remains an often overlooked yet pressing concern. In the United States, one in nine working-age veterans lives in food-insecure households, and one in four veterans has diabetes—an ailment directly linked to poor nutrition. Diana Gregory hopes that by supplying fresh food, DGOS can provide healthier options for veterans and their families, making a tangible difference in their lives.
Gratitude and Enrichment:
A crucial aspect of DGOS’s program is recognizing veterans for their contributions. Each recipient of a bag of produce is personally thanked for their service, a gesture that holds significant meaning for many veterans. Expressions of gratitude may be rare for some veterans, particularly those who are homeless. By providing nourishing food and acknowledging their service, DGOS aims to enrich the lives of veterans and seniors in a meaningful and tangible way.
Diana Gregory Outreach Services has transformed from a grassroots initiative into a powerful force in the fight against food insecurity. Guided by the dedication and vision of Diana Gregory, DGOS continues to expand its reach, supporting thousands of seniors and veterans with fresh produce and nutrition education. With the support of grants and partnerships, DGOS is making a significant impact, ensuring that those who have served their country have access to the nourishment they need. Through their efforts, DGOS is not only filling stomachs but also uplifting spirits, one bag of produce at a time.
For more information on Diana Gregory’s Outreach Services, visit: https://dianagregory.com/
Check out this release about Veggies for Veterans: https://www.lisc.org/our-stories/story/thanking-veterans-their-service-one-bag-groceries-time/
NASA Leadership to Participate in Global Climate Change Conference
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and other agency leaders will participate in the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) beginning Thursday, Nov. 30, through Tuesday, Dec. 12, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
This global conference brings together countries committed to addressing climate change, which is a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and NASA. For the first time, a NASA administrator will attend, joining an expected 70,000 participants, world leaders, and representatives from nearly 200 countries.
Throughout the conference, parties will review the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and, also for the first time, provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement.
In addition to Nelson, NASA participants in the conference include:
- Kate Calvin, NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate advisor
- Susie Perez Quinn, NASA’s chief of staff
- Karen St. Germain, director, NASA Earth Science Division
- Nadya Vinogradova Shiffer, program scientist, ocean physics, NASA Earth Science Division
- Laura Rogers, associate program manager, ecological conservation, NASA Langley Research Center
- Wenying Su, senior research scientist, climate science, NASA Langley Research Center
- Ben Hamlington, research scientist, sea level and ice, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
During the conference, Nelson will participate in the first Space Agency Leaders’ Summit, which aims to demonstrate a collective commitment toward strengthening global climate initiatives and promoting sustainable space operations.
Throughout the conference, NASA leaders also will participate in additional events and presentations at the NASA Hyperwall, a main attraction at the U.S. Center showing how the agency’s climate science and research helps model and predict ocean health, heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and droughts, among its other Earth-related research. NASA will provide a hyperwall presentation every day, some with interagency partners, between Sunday, Dec. 3, and Monday, Dec. 11.
Climate adaptation and mitigation efforts require robust climate observations and research. NASA’s unique vantage point from space provides critical information to advance understanding of our changing planet. With more than two dozen satellites and instruments in orbit, NASA’s climate data – which is openly and freely available to anyone – provides insight on how the planet is changing and measure key climate indicators, such as greenhouse gas emissions, rising sea level and clouds, and precipitation.
A full schedule of U.S. Center events at COP28 is available at:
National Day of Giving: Spreading Generosity on #GivingTuesday
National Day of Giving: Uniting for #GivingTuesday, spreading generosity and making a community impact. Join the movement!
In a world that often seems divided, there is a day that unites people from all walks of life, igniting the spirit of generosity and compassion. National Day of Giving, also known as #GivingTuesday, is a global movement that celebrates the act of giving back to others. Originating in the United States, this philanthropic phenomenon has now spread across the globe, inspiring millions to make a positive impact on their communities. In this blog post, we will delve into the origins of National Day of Giving, explore its purpose, and discuss some of the best ways to observe this remarkable day.
Origins of National Day of Giving:
National Day of Giving was first observed in 2012 as a response to the consumerism and commercialism that often overshadowed the true meaning of the holiday season. The 92nd Street Y, a community and cultural center in New York City, along with the United Nations Foundation, launched this initiative to encourage people to give back and support charitable causes. Since then, it has grown exponentially, gaining support from organizations, businesses, and individuals worldwide.
What is National Day of Giving About?
National Day of Giving serves as a reminder to be grateful for what we have and to extend a helping hand to those in need. It is a day when people come together to donate their time, money, skills, or resources to causes and organizations that align with their values. This movement emphasizes the importance of collective action, highlighting that even small acts of kindness can create a significant impact.
Ways to Observe National Day of Giving:
- Make a Donation: Consider donating to a cause or charity that resonates with you. Whether it’s supporting education, healthcare, environmental conservation, or social justice, your contribution can make a difference. Research reputable organizations and ensure that your donation reaches those in need.
- Volunteer: Offer your time and skills to a local nonprofit or community service organization. Whether it’s serving meals at a shelter, tutoring students, or participating in environmental cleanup initiatives, volunteering allows you to directly engage with your community and make a tangible impact.
- Spread Awareness: Social media can be a powerful tool for spreading the message of generosity. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday to share stories, causes, and initiatives that inspire you. Encourage your friends and followers to join the movement and make a difference in their own ways.
- Support Local Businesses: National Day of Giving isn’t just about monetary donations; it’s also an opportunity to support local businesses and entrepreneurs. Consider buying from local shops, artisans, or restaurants, as this helps stimulate the local economy and promotes community growth.
- Start a Fundraiser: Organize a fundraising event or campaign to raise funds for a cause close to your heart. Engage your friends, family, and colleagues to contribute and amplify the impact. From bake sales to charity runs, there are countless creative ways to rally support and make a positive change.
National Day of Giving, or #GivingTuesday, is a remarkable movement that reminds us of the power of generosity and collective action. With its origins rooted in the desire to counterbalance consumerism, this day encourages individuals, businesses, and organizations to come together and support causes that uplift humanity. By making donations, volunteering, spreading awareness, supporting local businesses, and initiating fundraisers, each of us can contribute to creating a more compassionate and equitable world. Let us embrace the spirit of National Day of Giving and make a lasting impact on the lives of others.
Make a Difference for Children this Holiday Season
(Family Features) This holiday season, you can spread the spirit of meaningful giving and deliver impact for children globally. With crises and emergencies all over the world, make a difference with gifts that give back while showing your loved ones just how much you care.
Handcrafted by talented artisans from all around the world, UNICEF Market is a unique collection of carefully curated gifts ranging from jewelry to apparel, home decor, kitchenware and more. The gifts give back three times over by supporting artisans and helping local economies thrive, assisting vulnerable children in need and making for thoughtful and compassionate gifts for loved ones. By purchasing gifts from the market, individuals can contribute to creating a more equitable world for every child.
Additionally, UNICEFInspired Gifts provide meaningful opportunities to make a difference by donating important resources in the name of a loved one alongside a personalized print-at-home card or e-greeting. With millions of children on the move, driven from their homes by conflict, poverty and climate change, you can make a donation to provide essential supplies such as blankets, first aid kits, vaccines, lifesaving Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food and more. You can also send warmth to children in need in places where freezing winter temperatures and heavy snowfall are approaching. Your purchase of a “Warm Winter Kit” could provide four fleece blankets and 24 cans of therapeutic milk to provide warmth, safety and lifesaving nutrition.
To help support the organization’s lifesaving mission of protecting every child, consider UNICEF USA’s partners, including Cle de Peau Beaute, Hallmark and Marriott Bonvoy when shopping and traveling this holiday season. For every purchase of Cle de Peau Beaute’s Serum, $3 will be donated to support impactful programs for the education and empowerment of girls around the world; Hallmark’s UNICEF greeting cards and keepsake ornament, which are holiday favorites, can be purchased in store and online to support the world’s most vulnerable children; and Marriott Bonvoy members can donate their points to the organization.
Elevate your gift-giving this year for friends, family and loved ones by making a real impact for children globally. Visit market.unicefusa.org, where you can support efforts to ensure every child is healthy, educated, protected and respected.
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