An Epic New Year’s Promise…

51 weeks ago…

52 promises

I made a promise at the beginning of 2014 to volunteer at a different nonprofit organization each week for 52 weeks in a row. Here’s some stuff that happened…

Lamp Cat

lamp cat

Volunteered at a local animal shelter. This cat is the shape of a lamp. I called her “Lamp Cat” then cleaned her poopy.

Hipster Level: 9000

bike tube hammock

Helped recycle bikes at a bicycle co-op. Saw this sweet hammock made out of old tire tubes.

They don’t get as many visitors as you think.

valentines day

Delivered Valentine’s Day gifts for kids with cancer in the hospital.


soap making machine

These “noodles” are actually reconditioned hotel soap that will be formed into bars and sent to third-world countries to help prevent diarrheal disease (2nd leading cause of death for children 5 and under). Most unused hotel soap in America is just thrown away. I helped pack some stuff.

I hope someone picked him by now.

Dog Myrtle beach hope

My friend had his bachelor party in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I had to sneak out for a couple hours to walk dogs who needed to be adopted.

Dad joke logos.

mealworm racing

The Cleveland Botanical Gardens had me manage a “Mealworm Race” for kids. The dad who thought of those logo names must be so proud of himself.

Free kayak rental.

kayak directions

Kayaked down a lake and picked up trash on the shoreline with one of those grabber things they market to old people.

About a block from the Police station


Painted a boarded up building on Thanksgiving in Ferguson, Missouri. A family that led the beautification effort sent me a local calendar that ended up featuring my crappy painting as January.

The New Year’s Promise


By the time February rolls around, most people will just joke about their New Year’s Resolutions. People don’t take it seriously. Well… your health is not a joke. Your ambitions are not a joke. People who are in need are not a joke to me. I don’t make New Year’s “resolutions.” I make a New Year’s Promise. I treat this commitment with respect and I encourage you to do the same. Write your promise down. Tell other people. Hold yourself accountable. If you need promise cards to act as a symbol of your commitment, we send them at no cost to you. Share your #NewYearsPromise on our Facebook wall.

P.S. My last volunteering day is on Saturday and I am paranoid that something is going to happen to me or it cancels or something. Wish me luck. #NewYearsPromise

The full list of nonprofits so far:

1. Citizens Committee for the Lakewood Animal Shelter
2. Big Brothers Big Sisters
3. Clean the World – Orlando, Florida
4. Orangevale Food Bank – Orangevale, California
5. HandsOn Northeast Ohio
6. Special Olympics of District of Columbia – Washington,
7. BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation – Orlando, FL
8. Food Outreach
9. American Lung Association
10. Thea Bowman Center
11. The Hospice of Western Reserve
12. Marathon Kids
13. Colon Cancer Coalition, Texas
14. Greater Cleveland Food bank
15. Ohio City Bicycle Co-op
16. Cleveland museum of art
17. Cleveland Botanical Garden
18. Centers for families and Children
19. Family Promise of Greater Cleveland
20. Nature Center at Shaker Lakes
21. Medwish
22. JRC Learning Center
23. The Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland
24. Achievement Centers for Children
25. Sacramento Children’s Center – Sacramento, CA
26. Boys and Girls Club of Lorain County
27. Earthlink – Munich Germany
28. Becks Center of the Arts
29. Friends of Strouds Run – Athens ohio
30. Valhalla Tahoe
31. Northeast Ohio SPCA
32.  YMCA of Central Ohio
33. Rush for the Cause
34. Margeau’s Free to be Project
35. Community Shelter board
36. Bobcat booster
37.  New Avenues to Independence
38. Children’s Attention home
39. CureSearch
40. LEAF
41. Vibha
42. St. Agnes Adult Day Services
43. The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach
44. Wigs for kids
45. Campus kitchens
47. Lakewood Community Services Center
48. Because I said I would
49.  Adoption Network Cleveland
50. American Association of Caregiving Youth
51. Littlest heroes
52. ——