On Saturday we were asked to join 500 other volunteers to come together and take a step towards ending childhood hunger. No Child Hungry came and hosted a meal packing event to pack meals for children and families in Haiti.
The experience was sobering
To stop and think for one second - LIKE REALLY THINK - that children are DYING. Unacceptable!
To hear a pastor tell us that he was a first hand witness to 3 young children starving to death - LITERALLY. Then to listen to the incredible Jim Scott - leader of our local Make-A-Wish Foundation Chapter (that's raised over $1 million in the past 12 years!!!) and founder of ENABLE Haiti, a not for profit charity that has been bringing and supplying relief to a small community in Haiti when all other relief ended. Jim and a team of very dedicated people are trying desperately to create a sustainable living plan that allows this community to build itself back up again. The living conditions are dire. Children are starving. They have nothing. Yet Jim always reports that they are the happiest, loveliest and most generous people that he has ever met.
I am truly honoured to call this man a friend. He and his family are wonderful people who don't ever just talk about making a difference - they ACT. In turn, they give us a chance to ACT. I would walk to the ends of the earth if Jim asked me to.
The goal was 120,000 meals by 3pm. There were 500 people (give or take).
My mother-in-law and father-in-law were part of our packing team. Philanthropy runs in the family.
This was the view of looking one way from where I stood...
and the other way. There were high school and university teams, firefighters, kids, moms, dads, so many people took a day out to make a difference. Incredible!
As I was packing this life sustaining little bag I couldn't help but notice the ingredients. We are fortunate enough to live in a society that we can make choices for our children and families where our diet is concerned. How many people would see the "soy-protein" and decide not to give it to their children, cause "there's too many hormones in it?" I mean - ME - I am one of them. I felt ridiculous. I also felt thankful. Thankful that I have the choice to feed my children fresh fruits and veggies. Thankful that I can buy and have access to good quality vitamins and supplements with very little filler. Thankful it's a choice whether or not to give my kids gluten free or wheat products. Mostly, I am thankful that it is just that A CHOICE. Let's face it - if our children were starving to death all the free range organic products really loose their lustre. Trust me I'm not knocking it, I'm just putting it in perspective (even if it is only for my own sake).
The day was huge success. We finished packing 120,000 meals in less than 2 hours. We were home by 11, feeling the weight of others struggles in my heart. I can't wait for my kids to be old enough to join us in these events. If we raise awareness in our kids, they may just one day appreciate the choice they make when they decide to not finish a meal, or run the water too long when they brush their teeth, or play outside with a bucket of water and water balloons. Of course I want them to do those super fun things that our kids are lucky enough to do, but I am also asking that they appreciate and respect the luxury and never take it for granted.
And to quote Lennon and Maisy from the Nashville soundtrack (I'm obsessed with them - The Stella sisters - google it)...