Blog posts written by Zach and Jeanna Trotman in reflection of trotman foundation charitable projects.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, we felt inclined to do something to help. We were also in the middle of trying to expand our brand on social media with the start of an Instagram account. So in a way to do both and certainly challenge the amount of "good" we could do, we encouraged people to follow our Instagram account and with every follow, we would donate an item of food to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. We did this for a 24-hour time window and totaled 715 follows, which meant 715 items of food donated.
We chose Gleaners because they are recognized by Feeding America, an organization working with a nationwide network of member food banks to end the fight against hunger. The location we chose is headquartered in Detroit and serves some of Michigan's hardest hit communities- supporting Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, and Monroe counties. In addition, Gleaners also provides food to more than 500 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and other agencies throughout southeast Michigan, an area we both consider home.
There were a lot of different moves we could have made during a pandemic like COVID-19, but the outbreak caused so many schools and businesses to close, leaving many families struggling and some hungry. We felt it was critical to make sure our most vulnerable neighbors are taken care of and have access to food.
We were so floored by the amount of people who showed support for this small project. It was always about much more than just likes and follows for us and it proved the positive use of social media for a better cause. Furthermore, our teammates in Casey and Ellie DeSmith decided to take this project in their own hands. Ellie texted us after we made our donation to Detroit and said they wanted to expand it and make a donation to a food bank in Pittsburgh. This was incredible to us for several reasons. To start, we have always felt grateful to be a part of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and this just shows the incredible support we have in our teammates. Secondly, we were torn of where to donate as we consider both Detroit and Pittsburgh "home." After a day on social media, the DeSmiths not only matched our donation, but surpassed the amount with an gracious donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
"We're lucky enough to be in a position to help people during this time, so it's important to do that."