A window inside life at Augustana College

World Hunger Day!

Yesterday was a whirlwind.  It was the day of my communication studies senior project event!  I was a mix of emotions the whole day…nervous, excited, happy.  But during the whole day, I could not stop smiling.  Before I go any further, let’s rewind so you all know what the heck I’m talking about!

At the beginning of the school year I started my senior inquiry (everyone has to do one before they graduate and what you do depends on your major) for communication studies.  For communications you can either pick traditional or civic engagement.  I chose civic engagement because I love to volunteer and interact with people in the community.  I chose Kids Against Hunger-Your Quad Cities for my organization.  They package food and send it to countries in need.  Currently they serve Honduras, Haiti, and Nicaragua, with 10% staying in the Quad Cities.  Ever since taking my learning community junior year where I had to volunteer at a food pantry, I have been very interested in hunger and poverty issues.

As my big project, I chose to organize a huge packaging event.  John, the president of Kids Against Hunger-Your Quad Cities, deemed it World Hunger Day.  My goal was to have 35 teams of 10-13 people participate in the event.  Every hour 6 teams would package food and the event would last from 9a.m.-3p.m.  Each team paid $360 to package food for one hour.  Many hours went into planning this event and persuading people to get a team together and sign up.  On Wednesday (3 days before the event), an article was published in the paper promoting the event  http://qconline.com/archives/qco/display.php?id=625102&query=kids%20against%20hunger .

The event took place on Saturday, February 2nd, at The Center in Davenport.  A total of 33 teams packaged food!!

Even though I didn’t make my goal, I was thrilled with the turnout.  The event was more than I ever could have imagined it would be.  As people walked out the door I heard them say how much fun it was and that they would love to do another Kids Against Hunger event.  One young woman came up to me, shook my hand, and said, “Thank you for helping my country.”  She went on to tell me that she is from Nicaragua (one of the countries that Kids Against Hunger-Your Quad Cities currently sends food to).  That was a very touching moment and definitely one of the biggest highlights of the day.

At the end of the day, a total of 47,520 meals were packaged in just 7 hours!  That’s a feat I never thought I would accomplish.

And to top off the day, Channel 4 (WHBF) and Channel 8 (WQAD) came to the event and interviewed me!  Here is the news story that appeared on Channel 4  http://www.whbf.com/story/20944307/food-for-hungry-kids

I was pretty nervous but so excited I could share the wonderful service that Kids Against Hunger provides.

At the end of the day, all of the food was loaded into an enormous semi-truck to be shipped of to starving children in Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua, and the Quad Cities.  I am so thrilled with how my project turned out and am so glad that I chose the civic engagement route.  I am so grateful to all of the wonderful individuals who packaged food and the volunteers from Kids Against Hunger (I could not have done it without you!).  It was so exciting to see them having such a fun time.  John said it best in his interview, “Rather than just write a check and send it somewhere, and hope it does some good, they can actually hands on, 100% of what they give goes into the bags and they know it.”  You are not just sending your money off.  You know what the children will be receiving.  At the end of their one hour shift, participants even got to taste the food!

I cannot thank John enough for allowing me to be a part of his wonderful organization.  This has been an incredible 6 months.  I have learned so much about myself and how to utilize the skills I have been taught in the classroom.  This is a day I will never forget.

Until next time,

Jen

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