Every act of good starts with a simple idea. One of our missions here at Limitless Good is to show how simple, local acts of Good can have a huge impact. Our Spotlight On Good series will feature interviews and stories about regular people who came up with a way to do incredible good, on a local level. Today we turn the spotlight on Monte Belmonte and his Monte's March.
Monte Belmonte is a DJ for WRSI, The River, in Northampton, MA. Prior to 2010, Monte had done some food and fund drives for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, but he wanted to do more to help people who don't have enough to eat. More than 135,000 people in Western Massachusetts face hunger issues and 1 in 5 children live in food insecure households.
"The notion that kids go to sleep hungry every night bothers me. The notion that kids might not eat a real meal all weekend until they go back to school on Monday morning bothers me. The notion that adults have to choose between food and heat or food and medicine also bothers me. The Food Bank does great work getting food to those people. I have done other big stunts for other organizations. We had an OK food and fund drive going for the Food Bank, but I wanted to do something bigger" states Belmonte.
How could Monte make a bigger difference in the fight against hunger? Push an empty shopping cart for 26 miles and call it Monte's March, of course! "It is a ridiculous publicity stunt to raise money and awareness for the Food Bank. It’s basically a radio-thon where I push a hot-rodded shopping cart designed by the kids at Smith Vocational in Florence 26 miles from Northampton to Greenfield, while broadcasting and asking listeners to call 888-323-HOPE (4763)."
The first Monte's March took place in 2010 and they raised over $14K, but that was just the start. Over the course of three years and three Monte's Marches, they have raised over $100,000 for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. On November 6th, Monte will try to add on to that total with Monte's March IV. Literally tens of thousands of people have been touched by Monte's Good and it all started with a simple idea to push an empty shopping cart.
When a guy decides to walk 26 miles pushing a shopping cart, you might think he is a marathon runner with a bizarre interest in shopping carts, but that is not the case. As Monte explains, "I had never endeavored to walk 26 miles before. I had no idea if I’d blow out a calf, or how long it would take. I also didn’t know if the shopping cart would make it that far." Monte had an idea, went with it and as a direct result, numerous people now have something to eat.
What Monte has done for the Food Bank is incredible, but he also acts as inspiration for all of us. We have all had crazy and funny ideas on how to raise money for charity, but maybe we were too scared to take the first step. Scared no one would notice or contribute, that our good deed would not make a big enough impact. Our Good Ideas remain just that, ideas.
Yet it is actions, not ideas that raise money and awareness. It can be a small action, that just impacts one person in a positive way, because to that one person it is a huge act of good. As Monte explains, "Any good anyone does is good. It doesn’t have to be huge and dramatic and publicized to be good. Most of the time those lower profile “goods” are the better goods. There is a popular adaptation of Loren Eiseley’s ‘The Star Thrower’, about a beach filled with innumerable starfish, with one lonely Star Thrower throwing them back to the sea one by one. It seems Sisyphean and seems like it won’t make a difference. But it makes a difference to that one starfish who gets thrown back. So my tip would be, just do something good."
In the end, it is just as simple as that, "Just Do Something Good". Have an idea of how you can make a difference? Just do it! Drop us a comment or contact us and let us know the Good you are up to so we can share it and let everyone catch the Good bug.
Want to help out Monte's March IV? Call in a donation to 888-323-HOPE (4763) or donate online at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
Learn More About WRSI, The River
Read About Monte's March IV, November 6, 2013
Learn How To Help The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts
Watch A Video About The Original Monte's March -