This is an interview I recently did with Michael Espe, of the LA Food Bank. They're doing a great thing over there with their third annual singles mixer event. The idea is a brilliant one, get some singles together for a good cause and see what happens. A true stroke of briliance. I tried to host something like this once, but apparently the City of Commerce has very stringent code on charity events for questionable venues for alternative adult entertainment. Alas, my event was never to be… Anyway, if you live in the LA area and want to do some good with someone good, then check this out.
Urban Dater: Alright, Michael, I'm on to you. What's the deal with this singles mixer event you're promoting at the LA Foodbank?
Michael Espe: Our “Have a Heart for the Hungry” event is a singles mixer and volunteer event on Saturday, February 12th from 845am-12pm. It will be held at one of our new warehouse locations in Vernon, CA which is just south of Downtown Los Angeles near Huntington Park.
Urban Dater: How do people signup to be a part of this event? Is there a limit on how man volunteers you'll take?
Michael Espe: They can sign up by going through the following links on our own website, Facebook and Twitter:
Urban Dater: What would these singles be doing? WOuld they come and donate food, hand out food to people? Will there be a lot of making out? Spill! 😉
Michael Espe: The volunteers will be helping package our senior citizens’ kits full of nutritious canned goods and boxed donations. If they would like to bring food donations, it is optional but very beneficial for us! They will not be meeting or interacting with any food recipients. If people want to make out, they can but just not in front of the volunteers and during the volunteer operations, maybe in a random corner somewhere after the day ends haha
Urban Dater: How did this even come up and how long have you been doing these events?
Michael Espe: This is going to be our 3rd Annual “Have a Heart for the Hungry” event. It started on Valentine’s Day weekend 2009. My Volunteer Director, Ana Martinez, wanted to change up our regular Saturday volunteer day during Valentine’s weekend by including a holiday theme so she came up with the singles only Valentine’s volunteer event. We had over 400 volunteers show up to the first “Have a Heart for the Hungry”. We have kept it as a part of Foodbank volunteer tradition since then.
We are capping the amount of volunteers at 300-350 and right now, we are currently at around 100 volunteers.
Urban Dater: What is some advice you'd give the more shy volunteers?
Michael Espe: We have had shy volunteers in the past but we pair people up so that they have someone to talk to and there will be a mingling section before, during and after the volunteer session so people can interact more too. We welcome shy people!
Urban Dater: Are there any romantic success stories that happened as a result of one of your events?
Michael Espe: We had a few couples form from the first event. I am not sure what happened to those couples but hopefully they are still together haha. We even still have some volunteers who keep coming back to the event since they did not have luck the previous times but they like meeting people and giving back to the community.
Urban Dater: Let's say I'm attending this thing, I mean I wouldn't I have a girlfriend, but let's say I didn't and I came to this thing; what tips would you give me to pickup on pretty much every woman that might be there? You see, I'm a good looking guy and chicks kinda dig me.
Michael Espe: Haha, when it comes to picking up a girl or guy at this event, I say people just be who they naturally are. We noticed a lot of volunteers were more interactive with each other when they did not seem so reserved and even some showing off their volunteer skills by being a more active team player in making the food kits! Being out there and being an active volunteer is definitely key to meeting that special someone at our event hehe.
Urban Dater: Are there plans for any more of these types of events this year?
Michael Espe: This event is the only singles-related/holiday event that we have all year round. The only other holiday related event we have is our Halloween weekend event called “Howl Away Hunger”.
Urban Dater: Do you have any partying (yes, I mispelled that on purpose) words of wisdom or anything else you'd like to tell our readers?
Michael Espe: I don’t have any final words but on the down low, we need more men! Haha, we always have a high interest form women usually so the ratio is usually off but we will still take anyone in as long as they are 18 years old and above.