By Peak Johnson for the Temple News
Founders David Kwon and Joanne Yoon created lovemyhood.com as a way to profile the many volunteer efforts in Philadelphia.
Lovemyhood.com was created in October 2011 to share the volunteer experiences of friends, David Kwon and Joanne Yoon, throughout Philadelphia at local nonprofit organizations.
At the time, Kwon and Yoon were looking for different organizations to get involved with. Among the websites they found were idealist.org and volunteermatch.org.
While the two said those are both quality websites, they felt they were missing testimonial accounts of volunteer efforts.
“Our mission is to serve as that link through volunteers and people, as well as motivate others to volunteer,” Yoon said.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Yoon said that in 2004 a lot of things had drawn her to Philadelphia, including its people. When transitioning to Philly life, she was able to obtain work at a finance company where she said she met a lot of interesting people and was able to develop friendships.
Kwon is no stranger to Philadelphia. He was born and raised in Philly and attended the University of Pennsylvania as a finance major.
Volunteering has always been an important part of both Yoon and Kwon lives, having a “personal desire” to serve their community since their early college years.
They are not targeting a specific group, but rather a broad spectrum of people who are interested in volunteering. They understand that college students lead busy lives, yet still encourage them to volunteer.
“With anything, it becomes difficult at times in terms of working and scheduling,” Yoon said. “But we always find that we get more out of it than what we sometimes put in it. When volunteering you become more part of the community, more engaged.”
The first volunteer event that lovemyhood.com participated in was Love Your Park Day, a citywide clean-up event. The event took place in Vernon Park, where volunteers, including Kwon and Yoon, were given the task of planting trees, raking leaves and cleaning up the park.
Mayor Michael Nutter made an appearance as well, giving a speech about the city’s green initiative. More than 60 parks and approximately 1,000 volunteers participated in the event.
“We wrote about that event and posted it on our blog later that week,” Kwon said. “Since our launch we’ve participated in more than 10 volunteer activities and we have had more than 500 unique visitors to our site.”
Yoon and Kwon are planning to start accumulating volunteers for weekly activities.
“We want to inspire and motivate our neighbors to serve their city, by blogging on a weekly basis about our personal volunteer experiences,” Kwon said.
Dominique Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.