Friday, April 11, 2014

Why We Give: "The face of hunger is not what you think."

The Why We Give series highlights people who take the time to do good in our communities and the things that inspire them to do so. Whether volunteering or donating, visit us at www.facebook.com/HuTerra and tell us why you give. You might be our next highlighted hero!


This note came from NN:

"I'd like to tell you why I give. I can't always afford large donations or a lot of time, but every time I do volunteer, my eyes are opened to the need in my community. I always wish I could do more. 
Every Friday in Louisville, volunteers arrive at schools all over the city to fill backpacks with food for children in need. That food sustains them over the weekend, until the next school day. The program is through the organization Blessings in a Backpack. Without it, thousands of children in Louisville would be without nutrition every single weekend.  
This morning, I volunteered for the Blessings program at a school that is in an under-served area of our city. There we were, volunteers lined up at long tables, ready to fill bags with cereal, protein sticks, 100% juice boxes, canned ravioli. As the children came in, each was given a plastic grocery bag. They went down the line and we filled their bags. At each station, every child smiled and said "thank you" to the volunteer putting food in their bags.  
The face of hunger is not what you think.
The school counselor explained to us that of 430 students in the school, only 22 pay for their lunches. That means that 408 students rely on free lunch in that one school alone. She told us that they are only able to provide the Blessings program to about 200 students, because the program costs $80 per student per year. That leaves 208 students who face hunger every day, who aren't benefiting from the Blessings in a Backpack program. In this one school, 208 children will go home today and not know if they will eat this weekend.  
The weekend must be very long for a young child who is starving.
So that's why I give. I give because the true face of hunger in my town isn't lazy people taking advantage of a system. The true face of hunger in Louisville is our most vulnerable population. Children rely on adults for everything from shoes, to shelter, to the food in their bellies. I give because looking in their faces, giving is all I can do to ease their situations. I can't look away. 
I hope you will join me in sponsoring a child. $80 provides food for a child for a full school year of weekends. I started a fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack so we can work together to help Louisville's children. By giving up one meal eaten-out and donating that money instead to Blessings in a Backpack, you will provide food security to a child... a child who depends on us for one of life's most basic needs. Please don't look away." 

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

(Donations are processed by the HuTerra Foundation, which does not take from the donation stream. Learn more about donation processing here.)