First and Ten Top 10 Highlights - March 2020


Every month we will highlight the top 10 stories from fans, youth football coaches, and teachers just like you who are serving in the community! Remember to use hashtag "#give10" when you volunteer for an opportunity to be featured next month!

Name: Ricky Smith

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

How do you give back:

Ricky is the founder of #RAKE, a nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes the act of "paying it forward". While Ricky has gained global attention through his many acts of kindness, his cross-country trip around the United States is one of his most famous acts. He travelled with nothing but his cell phone and I.D. and focused on giving back everywhere he went. Giving during this trip included raising money to share with the homeless, giving free hugs, and greeting others outside of businesses. Most recently, Ricky has converted hundreds of #RAKE bags into masks and delivered them to people on the non-medical front lines. Ricky strongly believes that every act of kindness, regardless of its size, can help make a difference in the community. 

Name: Alaska Otterbacher

Hometown: Ester, AK

How do you give back:

Alaska has volunteered with disaster relief across the United States and surrounding territories for over twenty-five years. His most recent deployment was to St. Croix last fall, where he spent his time cleaning and rebuilding homes. He has also served in deployments by the American Red Cross, Mennonite Disaster Services, and Methodist Disaster Services. Alaska's deployments require him to be away from home six weeks at a time, but he rests in knowing that he can make an impactful difference in communities and the lives of others.

Name: Shane Olson

Hometown: Croydon, PA

How do you give back:

Shane volunteers his time in numerous ways at Playwicki Farm and his college. Playwicki is a nonprofit organization that raises money for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes. At Playwicki, he supports numerous programs by cleaning up parks, planting flowers, landscaping, and completing the setup and teardown of events. Shane also tutors many of his peers in college for free in the areas of mathematics and physics.

Name: Christopher Tidwell

Hometown: Sidney, OH

How do you give back:

Christopher's calling lies in helping children who have lost their parents due to drug addiction or overdosing. He is constantly seeking support from families, friends, and businesses to donate children's shoes. Christopher has been able to receive donations from affluent, private donors or athletes who can relate to such difficult childhood backgrounds. He believes that children from these broken homes should have the opportunity to walk and stand in shoes that they can call their own.

Name: Bennett Kest

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

How do you give back:

Bennett gives back in the Cleveland community by volunteering with several recovery addiction groups. The individuals in these groups are special to Bennett as he himself recovered from alcohol abuse. Bennett enjoys sharing his previous experiences and story to positively influence those who are on their journey to recovery. Additionally, Bennett often offers meals to those in recovery who may not have access to food. Last, Bennett also provides transportation and financial support to recovery participants, so that they do not miss getting the recovery services they need.

Name: Patricia Ivery

Hometown: Cleveland, OH

How do you give back:

Patricia enjoys giving back to the community by serving in her role as a Chief Probation Officer and as a nurturing, elderly woman. Besides ensuring a safe community, Patricia believes it is her duty to go above and beyond when working with others who are in need. She helps others by directing them to drug addiction, educational, and career support programs – even when she does not need to. Overall, Patricia aims to put individuals in a better, brighter situation than what they were in when they first met her.

Name: Jackie Mounts

Hometown: Cuyahoga Falls

How do you give back:

Jackie belongs to a Cuyahoga Falls support group that provides assistance to women in need. Through her participation with this group, she offers counseling services and provides meals to those without transportation. Additionally, the support group has become a shelter for lost and abused animals, which Jackie also helps out with. Since the inception of the support group at Cuyahoga Falls, Jackie has helped extend women's services to other neighboring cities. 

Name: Daniel Rodgers

Hometown: Crooksville, OH

How do you give back:

Daniel has worked in the Crooksville Fire Department for nearly 28 years and has become a natural leader to many over the years. He loves spending extra time, outside of work, with younger firefighters who are kicking off their careers and may need additional guidance and support. Inclusively, he enjoys speaking with firefighters who are considering quitting their careers. Daniel takes advantage of his time with others to share his story of losing two partners in a severe fire. It is no surprise that Daniel's frequent teachings have led him to becoming an inspiration at the Crooksville Fire Department.

Name: Stephen Lombardo

Hometown: Mentor, OH

How do you give back:

Every summer, Stephen volunteers with Camp Sue Osborne, which serves special needs children in the Lake and Geauga Counties. He also supports the Knights of Columbus by helping raise funds to build homes for youth and adults with special needs. Additionally, Stephen raises funds to assist those who have been impacted by natural disasters or are homeless through helping with local pasta dinners, golf outings, picnics, and reverse raffles. Last, Stephen volunteers at his church and their basketball shootout, which aids special needs youth and provides them opportunities to learn how to play basketball. 

Name: Kyle Benson

Hometown: Akron, OH

How do you give back:

Kyle serves with Akron's Alpha Epsilon Theta chapter in a variety of ways. He has devoted time towards helping the elderly and making their days brighter at senior centers. Also, he volunteers with many children's groups at recreation centers and supports animals at local shelters. Kyle enjoys all of these volunteering experiences because he gets to help others and is also better connected to the Akron community.