Robby Marvin, 25, Cedar Rapids
Founder @ The Robject
That is the simple message Robby Marvin is trying to spread.
His megaphone of choice is The Robject, an endeavor Robby embarked on in June. It’s a 12 month project to inspire the people of Cedar Rapids to give more of their time, treasure or talent.
For one year, Robby has pledged 365 volunteer hours and 31.2 percent (the 31.2 percent represents the height at which the floodwaters crested in June 2008) of his annual income to 12 non-profit organizations. He’s blogging about his experience at www.robject.com
“My hope is that those numbers will resonate with people,” Robby says. “The whole point of the project was to make it a challenge.”
His message: “If I can do it, you can do it.”
Though the idea of volunteering is not a new one for Robby – he has worked with the Cedar Rapids Downtown District, St. Luke’s Hospice and other organizations in Cedar Rapids in the past – The Robject was inspired by an October 2008 Access Iowa Exchange (now ImpactCR) meeting.
Presenter Bob Untiedt, Executive Director of the Linn County Nonprofit Resource Center, asked the group, “What more can you do?”
Everyone has something to offer, says Robby.
“Though your contribution may seem small,” he says, “When they’re all combined they’re huge and can really make a difference.”
While the bare bones of The Robject is his, Robby says that his friends and family have been instrumental in developing the project into what it is today. Their support is what continues to make the project a reality, he says.
To meet his personal challenge Robby has adjusted to a different lifestyle to fit his new budget.
“I’ve had to be really conscientious, really trying to limit it to the essentials,” Robby says.
He’s window shopping more, going out less and even changing his diet to be more budget-friendly.
Through the Robject, Robby highlights one of 12 selected organizations each month. In addition to his volunteer hours, he is making a donation of up to $1,000 each month, matching whatever the organization is able to raise above and beyond their normal donations. At the end of The Robject, the total amount left to reach his 31.2 percent goal will be divided equally among the
In June, Robby worked with the Cedar Rapids Downtown District, helping with Floodstock, Run the Flood and the Drive-In Movie series.
Last month, Robby helped out with Horizon’s Meals on Wheels program, which delivers about 450 meals each weekday and 250 meals per day on the weekends.
“I wrote a (blog) post called Humbled by Horizons, and I really was,” says Robby. “You might be the only human interaction that person has all day.”
This month he is working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cedar Rapids, an organizations dedicated to inspiring and enabling young people to reach their full potential.
The best part about volunteering?
“You feel good about yourself because you’ve helped others,” Robby says. “When you give it’s amazing how much you get back.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Robby is an instructor at Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping and would love to compete in a triathlon, except he can’t swim.
WHAT HE CAN DO FOR YOU:
Looking for a way to give more? Robby is your go-to source for volunteering in Cedar Rapids. His advice for getting started: be specific about what you want to do and take that leap of faith to get involved.
Want to do more like Robby? We did some homework to get you started.