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Dancing Against Hunger Through Teamwork

By: Patty Hennessey

"DAH is where we find the value of is absolutely essential to the work we do."

Founding, coordinating, and operating a non-profit organization such as Dancing Against Hunger is something that would be difficult for anyone to do alone, and as students doing this, we see the benefits of collaboration up close every day. This is where we find the value of teamwork.

To me, teamwork means always having each other's backs and all working towards a common goal. All of us see teamwork in our lives daily, whether it’s helping your sibling with a chore or playing in a sports game with your team. Teamwork as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.” This essentially says that when we collaborate with other people who bring individual strengths to the group, we can achieve larger successes than we would've been able to had we been alone.

As someone who has always preferred individuality to participating in a group effort, I have certainly been skeptical of teamwork from time to time. From my participation in DAH and other group efforts in settings such as work and sports, I have come to realize the immeasurable value of teamwork.

Teamwork is absolutely essential to the work we do at DAH. Teamwork presents itself in our organization in so many ways, one of the most important being our collaboration with groups outside of DAH. Without hosts for our food drives such as Roots of Life and Alliance Sports Camp, it would be far more difficult to find such success at our food drives. These events are full of people who are willing to work together to help youth in their community. Whether the attendees of these events bring in a can of soup from their pantry or an entire bag of groceries, each donation is equally valuable when the items are counted and sorted. When all of these smaller items come together, they form something far more impactful.

As a smaller organization having launched less than a year ago, we sometimes need a helping hand when it comes to the work that we do at events. Making big changes in the community calls for big numbers. A beautiful example of our collaboration with other volunteers can be seen at our most recent event, the food drive that we held in collaboration with Alliance Sports Camp. With over 500 people attending the camp, we knew that we would likely need a few more sets of hands to help out with sorting, counting, and boxing of donations. We were able to collaborate with youth group volunteers from the State College Chinese Alliance Church in order to do this. With the help of just a few extra volunteers, we were able to efficiently and accurately do what needed to be done to prepare the donations for pickup by our partners, with plenty of time to spare.

As a recently founded organization having already collected over 2,300 food donations, DAH has come to greatly appreciate the value of our passionate, collaborative group of people who strive toward the same goal: helping to reduce the impact of food insecurity on youth in our community. As we all ease back into the hustle of school and work, we at DAH encourage you to incorporate teamwork into your life wherever it is applicable.

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