Many people have made it a holiday tradition to help serve a meal to the homeless or hungry. To aid you in figuring out how to volunteer at a soup kitchen during the holiday season, check our tips below.
A quick history
* A soup kitchen is a place where homeless and hungry people can go to get a free hot meal.
* The idea of a soup kitchen originated in the U.S. during the Great Depression in the 1930’s.
* Originally soup kitchens gave out soup because it is inexpensive to make and fills people up quickly – today, soup kitchens serve other kinds of food in addition to soup.
* Soup kitchens usually rely on volunteer organizations, like churches or community groups, to complete their staff.
So how do I volunteer at one?
* Try searching Do Domething's volunteer database. You can do a quick online search of “Soup Kitchen + Your Town Name" or check your local yellow pages to find a soup kitchen in your area.
* Then, contact the soup kitchen to see what THEY need.
* Keep in mind that soup kitchens often get a lot of volunteers around the holidays, so if they say they have enough, ask what else you can do to help.
* If you can't find a shelter, try a retirement home. Often times, families can't make it to their loved ones.
What should I expect when I get there?
* Most soup kitchens have four or five hour shifts daily volunteer shifts.
* For some volunteer jobs, like delivering food to homebound people, you may need to undergo a training session – for others, like serving food, you can start right away.
* Soup kitchens need help in lots of ways, other than just serving food – some may ask you to help prepare food, pick up donations, take inventory of food, set up tables, and clean up, so be ready to help however possible.
* The best way to prepare yourself beforehand is be educated about the issues that matter most to the homeless and hungry in your area.
What else should I know?
* Some soup kitchens have a Food Pantry too, so they can give away non-perishable goods to the hungry – see if you can collect donations for your local food pantry at your school this holiday season. [Be a part of the Tackle Hunger campaign and tips on how to have to a collection drive.] A great way to do this is to ask students and parent to bring one non-perishable item to holiday assemblies, concerts or dances. Place a box at the door where they can drop off their donation.
* Remember, soup kitchens and food pantries need help year-round, and especially throughout the cold winter months – make it a monthly or weekly habit to volunteer for a day! Take your friends and family to make it a fun event.
Great Blog posted by SICFIT!!!
By Kevin Cherrick | Owner of Cactus CrossFit
This is a logo that you will see all over the world in the coming years. Reebok | CrossFit branded gyms are in full "global development". What will this mean for our culture and what will it mean for the sport?
“The only constant in life is change.” There has been a lot of speculation regarding the implications of the Reebok|CrossFit partnership."
This article assumes that part of that partnership includes "Reebok|CrossFit"-branded gyms owned and operated by Adidas (the parent company of Reebok). This increases the channels of distribution through which people can access CrossFit training.
There are four channels where athletes can access CrossFit:
I will address the threats and opportunities presented by CrossFit-partner branded gyms, and how they may threaten or enhance the affiliate business model.
First, let's shore up the fact that a) the affiliates do not own CrossFit and b) we have no control over brand extension of CrossFit.
CrossFit affiliation is not a franchise, does not cost as much as a franchise, does not have the controls or restrictions of a franchise. We cannot appreciate all the freedoms and benefits of affiliation while lamenting the lack of protection which a franchise would engender. Hopefully, we all knew what we were getting into when we signed the affiliation papers. It will do your business no good to waste energy and time complaining about CFHQ's actions or inactions, as the case may be.
Reebok (owned by Adidas) is opening CrossFit-style gyms. If they are in your local geographic market, what does this mean? Well-funded businesses with CrossFit style workouts, facilities, and trainers backed by potentially millions of dollars of marketing do drive people to their gyms. Business systems in place to ensure a professional experience.
Let's assume that Reebok were to fully commit to co-branded individual gyms (though a new business to them) with a full marketing press designed to drive the mainstream athlete (endurance junkies perhaps?) In the most extreme scenario, this could create a world in which everyone you interact with has heard of CrossFit. This can create other headaches (clarifying misconceptions) but this could also eliminate the need to educate your prospect, the toughest thing to do.
My gym, Cactus CrossFit, is run by owners and not employees. By definition, a Reebok|CrossFit gym would be run by employees. My attitude is that no employee can match the passion, the service level, or the commitment of an owner. If I am losing business to a CrossFit gym run by employees, than my feeling is that I have gotten fat and lazy.
If you are a Reebok|CrossFit trainer and you do work like an owner, but you
are compensated like an employee, what's to stop you from building up a clientele on Reebok's salary and then taking them with you and affiliating by yourself with CFHQ? A non-compete? Please. The cream of the Reebok|CrossFit crop will invariably leave and open their own facilities just as Coach described with regards to the best personal trainers in globo gyms. This will lead to instability of leadership and sub-par coaching and community continuity. Advantage: Affiliate.
Will Reebok|CrossFit gyms undermine our pricing? If Reebok invests in large and complete facilities, and a large marketing budget along with their existing high-cost management structure they will not be able to undercut the pricing of an owner/operator who runs their business utilizing word of mouth and referral marketing. More to the point, they will not be able to offer a better value.
I believe in a blue ocean marketing strategy. I agree that we make CrossFit athletes, we don't cannibalize them from other affiliates. The market of people that have not heard of CrossFit, or whom have no experience with CrossFit dwarfs the existing market that affiliates have fought for over the past several years.
The more that people are exposed to the concept of CrossFit, the more we will be able to identify those athletes, of any age and fitness level, who have the mindset necessary to excel at CrossFit. These are our people.
At Cactus CrossFit, we pride ourselves on “Authentic Community, Coaching, and Competition.” We do not (and cannot) compete on facilities, price, convenience, equipment quality, or television count. We compete (and dominate) on community, coaching, and competition. No one can best us on community. No one has better coaches than we have. No one cares more about the development of our athletes than we do.
We are unique. We can't compete with them? Wrong. They cannot compete with us. Because each of their advantages (funding/ size/ resources) represents a double-edged sword in the form of: high break even numbers, an impersonal atmosphere, and a belief in dollars, not people.
So, with that: 3,2,1 Go!
By Jason Fried
How do you justify the price you charge or pay for your CrossFit or other gym membership? Here is how another company justifies the price of their product.
Sure, some customers will complain, and others might take their business elsewhere. But there’s a good chance you don’t want those kinds of customers, anyway.
"Are you guys nuts?"
"Is there a gas leak in the 37s offices?"
"You are on crack."
These are just a few of the comments that were posted on our company blog in late June.
What did we do to deserve such scorn? Did we release a lousy product with a system-destroying bug? Did we triple the price of our software? Did we force people to pay us for something they weren't interested in buying?
Nope. Here's what we did: We had the audacity to charge $9.99 for a piece of software. And we make no apologies for doing so.
Here's the backstory: A few months ago, our software company, 37signals, released Draft, our first application for the Apple iPad. Draft lets you draw with your finger and share those drawings via e-mail or through Campfire, our business group-chat tool.
Draft is dead simple -- the background is black, the "ink" is white or red, and your finger is the pen. There are no shape tools, text tools, brushes, textures, color fills, or anything else. It's just like you're sketching on paper.
If you search the App Store, you'll find dozens of similar drawing apps. Some, like Penultimate and Brushes, are fantastic; others, less so. But no matter what you're looking for in a drawing app for the iPad, you'll likely find it in the App Store.
You'll also find a mix of prices. From free to 99 cents to $9.99, there's a product and a price to satisfy nearly everyone. Like most apps in the App Store, many drawing apps tend to cost between free and $4.99.
Given that there are already so many drawing apps on the market and that many of them are available for less than a buck, you might wonder why 37signals would spend the time developing yet another one. We built Draft to solve our own problems -- the same reason we build all our software. The other drawing apps on the market solve different problems than the problems we were having.
Prior to Draft, when one of us wanted to sketch an idea and share it with other members of our team, he'd first sketch the idea on a piece of paper with a Sharpie. Then he'd scan the paper. Then he'd upload the scanned sketch to his computer. Then he'd upload that sketch to the Campfire chat room where his team was collaborating.
Draft cuts out a bunch of those steps and saves a pile of time. Now we can quickly sketch out an idea, tap a button, and automatically upload it directly to a Campfire chat room. No Sharpie, no paper, no scanner, no waste, no extra steps. Just draw, tap, done. Draft is the only drawing app for the iPad that works this way. Other apps let you share sketches by e-mail (Draft does that, too), but Draft is the only one with Campfire integration.
Some days, we may share dozens of sketches. Saving a few minutes on each one has a significant impact on our productivity. This is exactly what we needed. That's why we built it.
We were so pleased with Draft that we wondered: Why not turn it into a product and offer it to our customers? It wouldn't be the first time we decided to market something originally created for our own use. After all, if we're solving our own problem, we're likely solving other people's problems, too. Given the number of people who use our other products, we had a pretty good idea that there were thousands of folks who would be interested in Draft.
At the same time, we're a small company with just 20 employees. We don't have unlimited resources. Our four primary products -- Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, and Campfire -- consume nearly all of our time and resources. From development to design to customer service, we're pretty maxed out. What would adding another product mean? Would supporting it be a burden to the existing team? Would it be worth it?
That's when we started thinking about price. We're a rare company in the Web-based software business -- we actually charge for things. We think free is a business cancer. Offering some stuff for free is fine as long as you have something else to sell. But "we'll give it all away for free and figure out how to make money later" isn't much of a business model in our minds. We provide our software like a restaurant provides its food, a cabby provides transportation, and a clothing store offers a shirt -- in exchange for money.
That's not the only thing that makes us different. Most companies seem to want as many customers as they can get. At 37signals, we don't want lots of customers. We want lots of the right customers. Our goal is to maximize profits, not market share. We also want to maximize happiness -- for the customers and for ourselves. The more people you have using your products, and the more people you have working at your company, the harder it becomes to keep everyone happy all the time.
So when we set out to put a price tag on Draft, we decided not to pay attention to what the other drawing apps sell for. We didn't look to compete on price.
As App Store consumers, we knew that most apps sell for 99 cents or thereabouts. I think the software industry is killing itself by trending toward a price of 99 cents. Software is more valuable than 99 cents, but as long as software developers say it's worth only 99 cents, then most customers are going to get used to paying only 99 cents.
We have no interest in participating in a race to the bottom. Ninety-nine cents is not for us.
What about $1.99? Or $2.99? We could have gone there, but we wanted to use price as a tool to reduce customer demand for Draft, not increase it. That's right: We wanted fewer customers to buy Draft.
With a price tag of a buck or two, I think we could have easily sold 10,000 copies of the software. On the surface, that sounds great. But not when you think about all the resources required to serve 10,000 customers.
A good number of those 10,000 people are going to need help. Some are going to complain. Some will request a lot of features. Some will ask a lot of questions. That's the software business, of course. And we love being in the software business and making our customers as happy as possible. We work really hard at it.
However, our main products sell for $24 to $149 a month. At those prices, we can afford to provide excellent service. Could we provide excellent service for many thousands of additional customers paying a one-time price of $1.99? Would that reduce our ability to service our $24-a-month or $149-a-month customers? We believed it would.
So instead of going for the land grab, we created a small island. We priced Draft at $9.99 -- significantly higher than most of the products out there. The people who buy Draft know exactly why Draft is valuable to them. And they think $9.99 is a fair price.
So far, we've sold nearly 2,000 copies of Draft. That's about $20,000 in revenue. We are much happier with $20,000 in revenue from 2,000 customers than $20,000 in revenue from 10,000 or 20,000 customers. Given our current resources and team, we can happily serve 2,000 Draft customers, plus all our other customers.
As the outcry over Draft's $9.99 price tag demonstrated, this has not made everyone happy. Plenty of people even think we're nuts. It's certainly not the first time we've been called crazy.
But giving away your products? That's what I call truly insane.
Jason Fried is co-founder of 37signals, a Chicago-based software firm, and co-author of the book Rework.
Sleep: You probably won’t even consider this one, but it is the single best weight loss tool, muscle gain tool, training tool, life tool, I have ever encountered. Read about my short term study of more sleep in this section. The Cuban lifters sleep nine hours every night, PLUS a three hour nap! Turn off the TV and go to bed!
The body is one piece: Don’t think you have an upper body and a lower body. Stick a fork in someone’s thigh while they are benching and it will stop the lift, even though some think that bench presses are for the upper body. If you play three hours of pickup basketball games, it will hurt your training. If you slam tequila shooters with the cute girl just back from the Mexico trip, it will hurt your training. Staying up all night with sick children will hurt your training. An infected toe will hurt your training. You are one magnificent piece, keep that in mind. The first line of defense against injury and overtraining is monitoring your life as well as your training.
Don’t think about recovery and you won’t: Hoping that you recover will not help you recover. Somewhere in your calendar or training notebook you have to make some clear decisions to focus on recovery. O lifting three days a week can exhaust the human body, but you can easily recover during the other four days off. You can recover unless you spend the other four days snowboarding, hauling rocks or playing six hours a day of basketball. I fully believe in “active rest,” adding recreational activities to help the mind and body heal, but you need to be very moderate in your non-lifting energy wasting movements. You also need to let the mind heal and recover. The first sign of exhaustion is the lack of enthusiasm to train with weights.
Program and Plan: At some level, know what you are going to do in the gym each day. True, you can over plan, but basically have some idea why you are there. I like to focus on two things in each workout, this week and the next meet. Simply, each week, I try to be sure to include a solid pulling workout, a pushing workout, a squat workout and a technical workout. I might do each movement every workout, but somewhere in the week, I like to make sure I “worked hard” on each phase of the O lifts. Depending on how close or far my next O lifting meet is on the horizon determines the reps, sets or weights. That is a fairly simple long-term plan, but it seems to work. I often take an “easy” week too, but I tend to cover the four elements in these weeks. I keep my “eye” on the long-term each workout. I remember watching new lifters back in college show up to the HPER gym with the newest magazine article that had them do multiple sets of multiple reps with multiple exercises for each tiny body part. Having no idea of even the rudiments of lifting, they would toil endlessly moving from tiny weight to tiny weight. True, they had a program, but no real plan! Make sure you keep each workout in full view of your long and short-term goals.
Eat your protein, Eat your fats: The greatest mistake of my life was listening to the high carb nonsense of the Seventies and Eighties. It is nearly impossible to recover, not to mention grow and improve, on a high carb diet. You need protein and fat to recover, grow and improve. Ignoring this advice will be very detrimental to your lifting career. Don’t make my mistake! The Bulgarians are reported to get half their calories from fat, the Romanians discovered that ultra-high protein diets increased muscle mass (no surprise) and lifting ability. I favor the The Meat, Leaves and Berries Diet, but there are many other variations.
Minerals: Biggest Bang for the Buck I was sitting with Brian Oldfield, former World Record Holder in the shot put, at discus camp and he leaned over and told me: “None of these guys will listen, but they should be taking minerals.” Brian was tired of throwers asking about the newest fad in nutrition, mostly this or that magazine’s magic protein, and gave me the secret to recovery: minerals. “They are the biggest bang for the buck.” Magnesium and Potassium are my two secret weapons. Mg is the best single nutrient I can think of, see the Eades’ book, “Protein Power Lifespan Program” for more information. K is great, too, as any low carb dieter will tell you. Those two supplements are start to a better recovery.
Hot tubs and cold showers: Myth or not, I don’t know, but the combination of hot tubs and icy showers is the best combination I have ever read about or practiced for recovery. The Bulgarians explained the benefits of both in the Seventies and I find the combination wonderful for joint recovery as well as a chance to simply “chill.” Cold showers have even been touted as a fat loss tool, so maybe you get an extra boost for doing them. I am convinced of this combinations ability to help recovery.
Ab work: Okay, how does working more help recovery? In the area of abdominal work, it seems to help the O lifter. The Chinese lifters consider the abs a “second” backbone, hence stronger abs=stronger torso=bigger lifts. I like those ten dollar “ab wheels” as an ab workout, although sit ups and one arm work seem to help, too. If I have to explain how to do ab work, then…maybe you REALLY need to try another sport.
Splurge: I bought a hot tub a couple of years ago. I have a friend who gets a monthly sports massage. A visit to a chiropractor might help some lifters…a vacation might help others. That is what splurge means: spend some money or time providing recovery. I thought of this while sitting in my hot tub watching the stars.
Pay attention to who you listen to and remember why you don’t listen to some people: Friends, family and training partners will often be your first line of noticing your overtraining. Also, pay attention to people you respect. If you trust somebody enough to follow their program, trust them when they tell you to ease off OR train harder! Discernment is a key “virtue” in long-term success. Once you decide on a route to take in training, be careful of listening to every “whisper in the wind.” Every time I lift at a spa, some gym expert comes over to discuss why front squats are bad, or some other moronic thing I honestly don’t have time to debate. “Dude, will creatine help my biceps?” I don’t know, I don’t care, honestly, I don’t. Magazines in the muscle field are one step from porn and cater to the fears and insecurities of adolescent boys. When you want into a nutrition store looking to buy “Horny Goat Weed” or some other “hot” supplement, remember “why you don’t listen to some people.”
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France, wait for the end of hostilities. This photo was taken at 10:58 a.m., on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.
An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."
President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day. From left: Alvin J. King, Wayne Richards, Arthur J. Connell, John T. Nation, Edward Rees, Richard L. Trombla, Howard W. Watts
On that same day, President Eisenhower sent a letter to the Honorable Harvey V. Higley, Administrator of Veterans' Affairs (VA), designating him as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
In 1958, the White House advised VA's General Counsel that the 1954 designation of the VA Administrator as Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee applied to all subsequent VA Administrators. Since March 1989 when VA was elevated to a cabinet level department, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has served as the committee's chairman.
The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. This action supported the desires of the overwhelming majority of state legislatures, all major veterans service organizations and the American people.
Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.