Now in its 28th year, Rock and Wrap it Up! (RWU) is an award-winning anti-poverty think tank.
We research, discover and nurture potential sources willing to share renewable assets. Our donors include touring bands, educational institutions, the hospitality industry, professional sports teams, hospitals and TV/film shoots throughout North America.
We find and vet partner agencies that need and can share these resources with the poor.
We encourage the use of the Whole Earth Calculator mobile application to access total pounds of food conversion to meals and greenhouse gas emission reduction which can be sent to social media sites.
We strive to inspire our school partners to add Whole Earth Calculator Climate Literacy Lesson Plans to their academic studies, thereby enabling students to connect their actions to the reduction of poverty and carbon footprints.
Our Mardi Bra Initiative raises awareness and encourages the collection of feminine hygiene products for at-risk teens and women.
Feed the Veterans is our newest initiative to get our databases of pantries/soup kitchens into the hands of care-givers and agencies who support at-risk veteran and their families.
Syd Mandelbaum - Founder & CEO
Syd is a 21 century renaissance man. A child of Holocaust survivors, he vowed to reduce poverty and hunger in the US, the country which accepted his parents. He worked 18 years as Human Rights Commissioner in Nassau County reducing prejudice and bigotry. He was a scientist doing DNA, genetics and cancer research for think tanks across the country. He introduced and helped pass the Federal Food Donation Act. Using his science background, he helped develop the Whole Earth Calculator mobile app to quantify and correlate the relationship between food waste and GHG emissions. As a USAF veteran, he recognized the needs of at-risk men and women who had served. The Feed The Veteran’s database directly comes from that enlightenment. RWU has fed over 1 billion who hunger since 1991.
Diane Mandelbaum - Vice President of Operations
Since 2002, Diane has been the organization's CEEO (Chief Everything Else Officer), supporting Syd in the great work being done. Her responsibilities include financial, fundraising, Golf tournament, holiday events...literally everything that RWU does, Diane is the behind the scenes can-do person. In college, Diane majored in 16th and 17th century English poetry and drama, with a minor in Classics and Latin...clearly preparing her for her work with RWU.
James Spellos - Digital Media Director
For over 20 years, Jim has been teaching thousands of people how to use technology more efficiently through his company Meeting U. During that time, he began volunteering his tech skills for Rock and Wrap It Up!. He collaborated with Syd to create the Whole Earth Calculator in 2014, and to digitize the Andy Parise Veterans Toolkit in 2019. He is responsible for all digital media assets for RWU, as well as serving on their Board of Directors since 2014.
Cheryl Mirkin - Director of Visual Services
Graphic designer, craft enthusiast and lover of cats (presently living with 5), Cheryl obtained her Art degree from Binghamton University. After serving as assistant art director for WBNG–TV (CBS affiliate) for 3 years, she further honed her skills working in the corporate design world on such accounts as British Airways, Matchbox Toys and Samsung Electronics for 10 years. Currently running her own design firm, this gives her the ability to share her skills with Rock and Wrap it Up! and other local organizations that are important to her, while raising 2 daughters (also artistic, crafty and cat crazy).
Blasia Baum - Hannah's Project Coordinator
Blasia grew up on Long Island and graduated from Pace University.
After 9 years in the work force, she became a stay at home mom and raised three amazing daughters. She dedicated much of her time to the community serving 21 years in PTA and 15 years in Girl Scouts. She was also involved in various community service projects including volunteering with Rock and Wrap it Up, prior to become the RWU coordinator for Hannah's Project in 2018.
Rhonnie Fischman - Asset Recovery Coordinator
After earning her BA from SUNY Oneonta and her MA from Hofstra University , Rhonnie enjoyed a forty year teaching career. Now retired, she volunteers her time teaching, working for her temple,and working for Rock And Wrap It Up.
Shelly Goldstein - National Education Liaison
Shelly is a forty year veteran in the education field. In the 70’s as an educator/ teacher trainer, in the 80’s developing technology products for the classroom and currently as owner of HamiltonBuhl a classroom technology brand sold worldwide. Through a worldwide network of assets that reach out to schools he is promoting the use of the Whole Earth Calculator along with STEM & STEAM products to create an enriched real life educational technology experience in the classroom.
Laura Oxner - North Carolina Regional Director
A Wisconsin native, Laura Oxner left a successful career in Speech-Language Pathology to give more back into her adopted community of Greensboro, North Carolina where she has lived since 1994. She was active in the Guilford Interfaith Hospitality Network, Senior Resources of Guilford, and Guilford County Schools. In 2010 Laura received the Corina C. Hipps Volunteer of the Year Award for all of Guilford County Schools, and then became passionate about hunger issues. Her efforts as North Carolina Regional Director of Rock and Wrap It Up! have turned over 150 tons of food into meals which were otherwise destined for the landfill. School Wrap!, Food Wrap! events and the newest program Hotel Wrap! are all supported in NC. The successful Snack Wrap! Program is the model for statewide advocacy groups. Laura’s focus in collaboration helps spread her message that food recovery is vital for battling food insecurity in the community. Laura received a Bachelor of Science at the University of Iowa and a Masters of Science in Communication Disorders at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In 2016 she received a Certificate of Non-Profit Management from Duke University.