DANCE DAZE in the COMMUNITY BLOG

Spring 2013 Update!

In comparison to last year, when I used to post about volunteer opportunities each month, I’ve been terrible about posting this year! Although I was busy earning my Master of Arts degree in Curriculum and Instruction and my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, I still made time to volunteer!

Back in January, we volunteered with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and helped clean up San Francisco’s Ocean Beach.image

In March, we volunteered with Sunday Streets and enjoyed keeping the streets cleared for pedestrians and bikers to enjoy a fantastic day on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.image

In May, we volunteered for Walk Now for Autism Speaks and cheered on walkers who were raising money for autism research.image

I hope you are having a fantastic end of spring and beginning of summer! Keep volunteering!

- Saumirah

Dance Daze® Brings FREE Programs to a Title 1 School

Hi Friends,

The Dance Daze in Schools Fundraising Campaign to bring a FREE dance program to Title 1 school in the Bay Area has gone LIVE! I hope you will support our cause and/or share the link with your friends and networks! 

Below is some information:
  • You can donate in increments of $10
  • Your card is only charged if we meet our goal of $500 by April 24th
  • 100% of donations go directly to Dance Daze in Schools
  • Dance Daze in Schools is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
  • The Dance Daze in Schools Federal Tax ID Number is: 45-3066147
  • Let us know if you donate! Complete this form: http://dancedazeinschools.org/home/groupon_grassroots_donors

Thank you in advance for your support!

— Saumirah

We Donated 125 Pounds of Food!

I last mentioned our food drive for the Alameda County Community Food Bank over 3 months ago! Even though several months have passed, I wanted to let you know how we did with accomplishing the goal I set of doubling last year’s collection of 70 pounds of food. Well, we didn’t quite double the amount, but we were able to collect and donate 125 pounds of food this year! image

I can’t wait to try to raise twice this new amount in a couple of months!

I hope your 2013 is going well! I’ll try to get back to posting more once my schedule settles down a bit! In the meantime, be sure to follow the Dance Daze Intern Blog, where I occasionally post “Founder Blogs”: http://dancedazeinterns.wordpress.com/

All my best,

Saumirah

Update On Our Fall 2012 Food Drive

Our Fall Food Drive for the Alameda County Community Food Bank is going well! Last year, we were able to donate 70 pounds of food. I am grateful that more people from our office have gotten involved this year! Together, I hope we’ll be able to double last year’s weight and donate at least 140 pounds of food to families in our communities. The photo featured in this post shows some food I purchased for our barrel last night!

Follow Dance Daze in the Community on Facebook to keep up with the status of our food barrel!

Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk (06.09.12)

I became involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as a Volunteer Field Advocate in December of 2011. This past weekend, I had the wonderful pleasure of volunteering with one of the AFSP’s main events: The Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk. Held in San Francisco this year for the second time, the event raises funds to spread awareness of depression, mental health, and suicide, and to create educational and preventative programs. This year’s event raised an estimated 2.3 million dollars.

To past, present, and future service men and women: Thank you for your sacrifice! Photo Credit: Saumirah McWoodson, San Francisco, CA (May 27, 2012)

To past, present, and future service men and women: Thank you for your sacrifice! Photo Credit: Saumirah McWoodson, San Francisco, CA (May 27, 2012)

Girls on the Run (05.12.12)

Trying to keep the tradition going! :)

On May 12th, 2012, I volunteered with Girls on the Run, a nonprofit running program for girls ages 8 to 13 that uses experiential learning to teach specific social and personal skills. I had a great time cheering on the runners giving out medals at the finish line!

Follow Dance Daze in the Community on Facebook to keep up to date with our monthly volunteer work!

I’m still working on my spring cleaning! I found another company makes it convenient for individuals to donate clothing! USAgain is a for-profit company that collects used clothes and resells them all over the world to conserve natural resources. They provide bins across the United States, where people can conveniently drop off their used clothes and shoes. The clothes are sold at affordable prices to people who cannot afford brand new clothes.
Continue following Dance Daze in the Community on Facebook to learn more about ways YOU can volunteer, donate, and advocate in YOUR community!
— Saumirah

I’m still working on my spring cleaning! I found another company makes it convenient for individuals to donate clothing! USAgain is a for-profit company that collects used clothes and resells them all over the world to conserve natural resources. They provide bins across the United States, where people can conveniently drop off their used clothes and shoes. The clothes are sold at affordable prices to people who cannot afford brand new clothes.

Continue following Dance Daze in the Community on Facebook to learn more about ways YOU can volunteer, donate, and advocate in YOUR community!

— Saumirah

Our seeds have been planted! Keep following for updates as our Nourishing USA garden grows! Find Dance Daze in the Community on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DanceDazeCommunity

Our seeds have been planted! Keep following for updates as our Nourishing USA garden grows! Find Dance Daze in the Community on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DanceDazeCommunity

Haven of Peace (03.15.12)


I’ve started some massive spring cleaning recently (partially in an effort to live a simpler life!), and I’d been searching online for an organization that would accept a variety of donated items. Not only did I have clothes and shoes to give away, but also books, toys, electronics, make-up, jewelry, bedding, etc. Therefore, I was glad to find a flier from Haven of Peace on my door step a few days ago!

Haven of Peace is a safe place for women and children that operates on donations received from the public. They have been in operation since 1959 and are located in French Camp (near Stockton), California. They support women who are coming from domestic violence situations, who have recently been laid off from work, or who are experiencing homelessness for the first time. There is space in the shelter for women, girls, and boys up to the age of 8.

Last night, searching for more information about Haven of Peace, I discovered that they have been in danger of closing for several months! To learn more about Haven of Peace and how you can donate to them, please watch the following video, from ABC 7 News: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/assignment_7&id=8453335

Remember, there are so many ways to give! If you’re in the midst of some extreme spring cleaning yourself, find an organization that you believe in and donate, donate, donate all your stuff! Someone out there will love it!

Saumirah

Campus California (02.26.12)

This month, we donated clothing and shoes to Campus California, a nonprofit that collects and sells used clothing to pay for the training of international volunteers who create sustainable development in the poorest parts of the world. In promoting the re-use of clothing, Campus California helps reduce greenhouse emissions and saves landfill space.

Campus California is unique because they accept donated clothes through collection boxes that are placed all over the San Francisco Bay Area, making it quick and convenient to drop off used shoes, clothing, and even videos and media! Since its origin as a boarding school in Northern California in 2003, Campus California has collected over 14,000 tons of donated clothing.

According to their website, through funds raised from their clothes collection program, Campus California supports 3 volunteer training centers (2 in the United States and 1 in San Vincent). In 2011, Campus California provided $359,000 in direct support for training volunteers to create sustainable development work in Southern Africa and Central and South America.

Connecting the Dots

Today I had the privilege of teaching a demo dance class at an awesome school in Stockton, California! This was a great experience because while me and my awesome volunteers were dancing, our tech crew was filming us and creating a video to showcase our moves. Our 8 dance volunteers and 2 technology volunteers helped us show their school the newest program we’re offering through the nonprofit, Dance Daze in Schools—blended learning dance and technology! One of the best parts about the school we visited today, in addition to the energy of the staff and students, is that they love my alma mater, the University of the Pacific!

"Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards…." - Steve Jobs

Nutcracker Sweets (12.04.11)

Saumirah McWoodson and Mark FoehringerOn Saturday, December 4th, 2011, I had the loveliest time volunteering at a showing of Mark Foehringer’s Nutcracker Sweets at the Children’s Creativity Museum (formerly Zeum) in San Francisco! Just as advertised, the show was “50 minutes of fantastic family fun.” I volunteered by ushering in audience members and directing them to their seats, and in return, I was able to see the show entirely free! Afterward, I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Mark Foehringer, director of the Mark Foehringer Dance Project!

Happy December!

— Saumirah

PS: Find more photos from my volunteer experience on the Dance Daze in the Community Facebook Page! Also: Be sure to follow me on Facebook and subscribe to my articles on Examiner.com!

Veterans’ Day (11.11.11)

We had a great time volunteering at the Presidio on Veterans’ Day! The Presidio Trust, Swords to Plowshares, Mission Serve, and Civic Assets came together to host an event that allowed veterans and civilians to work together to pack lunches and write thank you notes for veterans who are experiencing homelessness.

Patch.com writer Rebecca Rosen Lum wrote about the event in this article, for which Dance Daze founder Saumirah McWoodson was briefly interviewed!

Dance Daze in the Community will be participating in several service activities in the Bay Area during Thanksgiving week. If you’d like to see what we’re up to, you can join our Meetup group (it’s free!) and be notified of our events via email.

Make today beautiful!