For Colby Byrne, eleventh grader at Ridgewood High School, his older brother, Patrick, was always someone he could look up to and admire for his intelligence, curiosity about life, many interests and “big heart.” After the sudden death of his brother two years ago at age 33, Colby and his family searched for a way to appropriately honor and remember a loving brother and son. The answer came in the form of a food drive to donate jars of peanut butter to orphanages in the Dominican Republic and Haiti with few nutritional options.
“Patrick always loved peanut butter so we thought this was a great way to do a fundraiser that brings him into it and makes it personal,” says brother Colby. “Then we discovered that fortified peanut is one of the most valuable therapeutic foods for severely malnourished children worldwide. It has nutritional value, including protein, and it is inexpensive, easily transported and non-perishable.”
With the help of YouGiveGoods.com, an online food and relief drive site, Colby Byrne, along with cousins, Lloyd Brown and Tommy Byrne, and friend, James Vermylen, are running the second annual Peanut Butter Drive in support of Foundation For Peace, an organization which will deliver the supplies directly to the hungry in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
To help support the drive, which runs from through March 1, 2013, participants can purchase peanut butter online by going to http://www.yougivegoods.com/PatrickByrnePeanutButterGlobalNutrition or http://www.yougivegoods.com and searching for “Patrick.” YouGiveGoods will deliver the peanut butter to the Foundation for Peace in mid-March.
Area High Schools Make Donations
Donations from students and their families have poured in from Ridgewood High School,
Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Morristown High School, and Delbarton School, schools which are attended by the four boys who are running the drive. Lloyd Brown attends Rumson; Tommy Byrne attends Morristown; and James Vermylen attends Delbarton.
According to Patrick O’Neill, CEO of YouGiveGoods.com, “To date, over 700 jars of peanut butter have been purchased for this drive, surpassing last year’s fundraising efforts which used traditional means of manual food collection. Their original goal of 400 jars has been surpassed many times over, and the new goal of 800 jars will likely be raised. An online drive is a great way to involve different schools for one cause.”
Last year Colby and his family visited two orphanages that will benefit from this year’s donations and they were able to play with some of the children. “It made it so much more real for me, seeing that the peanut butter makes such a big difference,” he said.
The Foundation For Peace, a not-for profit organization dedicated to provide educational support, healthcare access, economic opportunity and hope to impoverished areas of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Kenya, looks forward to providing the welcomed peanut butter supplies to the orphanages.
YouGiveGoods is based in Mendham, NJ and is operated by a group of people who strongly believe in the importance of helping others in need. The company’s website, YouGiveGoods.com, was developed to make it easier for people and organizations to set up and run in-kind charity drives, including food drives and animal shelter drives. The site provides free services to charities and makes it simpler for people to donate goods to the charities they want to support. The innovative technology platform is designed to inspire people to give and help others. Visit YouGiveGoods.com