“Volunteering in the community has been part of my upbringing and I want to instill it in my children as well…It’s an easy and deeply rewarding way to serve in our community.”

-Brooke Favero

Brooke Favero took the time to talk with me on September 30th, 2019 about Five12, an organization that helps feed the children of Salt Lake City, Utah.

TheCharityBoardGamer: Brooke, thank you so much for meeting with me today. Tell us about yourself and what brought you into the board game hobby.

Brooke: Well, I’m an avid board gamer, aspiring writer and a mom with five kids, so I always have a game in my pocket. Friends and family often come to me for game ideas and thus Game Night Maven was born. It is a central spot for all my game knowledge. Plus, I love and admire Kickstarters, so I wanted to provide a space where I could help boost them. Kicking a game is a scary amazing thing.As for getting into the hobby, it has been since birth. I come from generations of game players. It’s how we spend time as a family.

Brooke’s family enjoying a game of Catan

TheCharityBoardGamer: What is a fond memory you have playing with your family?

Brooke: Growing up, my parents didn’t let us watch TV on Sunday. So my siblings and I would spend hours playing games. We became Risk sharks, and I have secret demon control of dice. I can almost always roll a 5 or 6 when playing Risk. I don’t know what it is about the dice, but I’m money. It doesn’t translate to any other dice game. Everyone just knows they have to come at me with triple the amount of armies because my troops fight like lions. So often as a kid, my brother would curse my lions.

TheCharityBoardGamer: What is the go-to game right now with your family now?

Brooke: That’s tough. It depends on our mood. For a party, Skull King. If I had my way: Tiny Towns all day everyday. If my husband could pick, definitely Outer Rim.

TheCharityBoardGamer: So I asked you here to talk about 512. What is 512 about and why is it important to you and your family?

Brooke: The 5.12 project is an amazing foundation. It was started to give back to the children in our local community. 

In Utah, many kids have subsidized lunch at school. This provides them with breakfast and lunch during the week but the foundation learned that often these children go home on the weekend with little to eat. 

Loading bags on a Wednesday evening.

Brooke: Thus the project was born. On Wednesdays, we go for about 1 and 1/2 hours and assemble weekend lunch bags for these children. In the lunch bags, there are several breakfast meals like cereal or oatmeal and then there are several items the kids can eat for lunch. 

Every week the foundation puts together about 800 -1000 lunch bags. Then they distribute them around our local county and Salt Lake City to help kids in need. Utah has taken in a lot of refugees from war torn countries and a lot of these meals feed these kids.

Brooke: Volunteering in the community has been part of my upbringing and I want to instill it in my children as well. We often go as a family because it is at 6pm at night. It’s an easy and deeply rewarding way to serve in our community.

TheCharityBoardGamer: That is beautiful. Can you share about a moment helping as a family that really stood out to you and reaffirmed why you do this?

Brooke: Going to the foundation is always the same experience because we don’t actually get to hand the food to the kids in need. But this last Christmas, we went caroling and delivered food to several refugee families from Africa in Salt Lake. It was when we were caroling and laughing with these amazing families and really hearing their stories of escape that my kids made the connection. Then my kids realized all the work we do at 5 12 project goes to kids like the ones we visited, and that connection instilled in them the desire to serve.

TheCharityBoardGamer: Brooke, if someone wanted to learn more about 5 12 or support them, where could they go?

Brooke: Five12.org. All of the food is donated from big companies and grocery stores and they have strict rules about what they can put in the weekend lunch bags. But I’m sure there is a link on the website of how you can donate. If you live in Utah, then you can always come serve on Wednesdays. Although I do know for large groups, like church youth groups, you need to email them and make an appointment to come.

TheCharityBoardGamer: Brooke, Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today.

Brooke: Anytime. It’s an awesome thing that you do, and it’s important to serve our community.