Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Yelpsgiving!, presented by Yelp, with One Brick, at The Earth House, is an all-volunteer charity dinner on Thanksgiving Day for local shelters in need. Yes, many shelters and kitchens are already having Thanksgiving meals prepared around Indianapolis, and after some outreach & research, Jon Akerman of Yelp Indy found there were three needs to be filled:

*Shelter numbers have increased and there's an increased need for a meal on Thanksgiving.
*Two, for those not hosting or traveling with families for the day -- the holiday is a rare opportunity to give back/volunteer in a major way to those who don't have the opportunity to spend the holiday with family.
*Three, all of the meals on Thanksgiving in Indy are set in the traditional soup kitchen style, which works very well and is tremendous. Yelp wanted to go beyond that and give guests something they rarely have the opportunity for: a sit-down, full-service, restaurant-style dinner with hosts, waiters, servers and menus!

Jon felt Yelpsgiving guests deserve that special treatment that everyone else gets in restaurants every day. This event is a wonderful way to socialize and be together as one in the Indy community.

*Yelp secured a venue, The Earth House, which has a fully stocked kitchen and Ed Stites hosts a "Pay What You Can" meal there so it's a well-suited venue!
*Yelp secured guests from The Wheeler Mission, which is literally next door to The Earth House, so volunteers will walk guests to & fro from the Mission.
*Yelp secured volunteers. Through One Brick and Yelp, volunteers were recruited and professional volunteer coordinators are helping in all aspects.

Leaving only the final detail: The Food. Yelp could very easily secure ample amounts of food for the event. From Butterball to Oceanspray to Idaho, the standards of a Thanksgiving dinner could be met. However, Jon’s goal as the Yelp Community Manager is to connect people with great local businesses. So, he contacted IWFM director Laura Henderson about the opportunity to serve all-Indiana, all-local food to the Thanksgiving dinner guests, specifically, if possible from The Indy Winter Farmers Market! , With a generous grant from Wishard Health Services, this is now possible! From local turkey to local greens, the farmers of the IWFM will be providing many of the ingredients for Yelpsgiving! We are honored to be part of making a true Slow Food Thanksgiving possible, providing “Good, Clean, Fair food” to folks who too often go unfeed or undernourished.

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