The Feed

Stories of Feeding God's Children Hungry in Body & Spirit

In Arizona: Extraordinary People Event Feeds Children 'in Body and Spirit'

In Arizona: Extraordinary People Event Feeds Children 'in Body and Spirit'

Feed My Starving Children recently held a special MobilePack event at the Mesa Convention center in cooperation with five local Arizona organizations and their volunteers who continuously dedicate their time, talent and resources to help people living with unique circumstances.

This August, more than 800 extraordinary volunteers came together for one day of service. The volunteers included those with special needs, children with life-threatening medical conditions and foster families.

Together they packed 116,640 nutritious meals for children around the world. FMSC partnered with Hope Kids, Arizona Department of Child Safety, Raising Special Kids AZ, Pathway to Works and Chandler Educational Foundation. 

One of the event hosts, Diane, a pediatrician, shares her reflections from the event:

For 10 incredible hours on Saturday, I got to step into the worlds of these organizations. I got to watch them and join their extraordinary people, and I can honestly say that the work that each of them does is nothing short of miraculous.

For the past month, I have been surrounded by children who are facing as one of our team reflected, “the worst childhood ever.”

I can say, however, that as I have wrestled with the injustices of cancer, malaria, foster care, AIDs, developmental delay, malnutrition and life threating illness, I have also seen more joy than I have seen in a very long time.

Arizona volunteers

I think the extraordinary people event was a capstone experience for me.

I can honestly say that this event exceeded my wildest expectations. I feel incredibly fortunate to get to be part of all three sessions.

Each was its own little microcosm of stories, as unique and special as the next.

I think it is amazing that a group of six wildly different organizations – representing the government, nonprofit, education and relief world – came together within six months of meeting each other to throw one amazing event serving some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

Arizona volunteers

While getting wrapped up in the experience of Saturday, I almost lost sight of the fact that we packed more than 100,000 meals.

'FMSC Meals are Very Precious'

Three weeks ago I was on the ground in Africa using some of FMSC meals.

Where I go with my medical team, FMSC meals are very precious and used different than in a lot of places.

Because we are able only to get a limited number of meals into the country, they are used in the clinic for the sickest kids with acute malnutrition as a rescue source of food for a month to stabilize and re feed the kids.

Malnutrition causes a third of all childhood death in Ghana. If all of us were gathered at this event to save the life of just one child dying from malnutrition in Africa, it would be so worth it.

I am humbled to say that I way underestimated the ability of our extraordinary people to pack meals. We literally used every bag, label and ingredient we had brought.

'The Reason'

FMSC Senior Event Supervisor, Sarah, was humbled in a similar way. 

"Even with my vision of giving our extraordinary people a chance to volunteer, I way underestimated their potential," she said. "We had more than 400 volunteers for the first session with Hope Kids, and they packed 170 boxes."

Arizona volunteers

She shares a striking moment from the event:

It was during this session that as I was walking into the packing space from the orientation space, I was passed by a father.

This father was holding hands with his tiny son, and they were running back into the packing space. They were both laughing and thoroughly enjoying each other and their life.

It hit me then. THIS was the reason for this event – for parents to be able to breathe and serve with their children. To take a break from the constant stresses of their lives and just enjoy. It was beautiful.

 

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