Ahh, I feel like so much has happened in such a short amount of time that I don’t know where to begin. I haven’t really had that much motivation to blog either, so things just kept rolling. I think I’ll just stick with my weekend for now because I can already tell this is going to be a long post.
Every year, my youth group at my church does this thing called the 30 Hour Famine. It’s by World Vision, and basically it’s to bring awareness about hunger and the massive problem that it creates all over the world. Each year we focus on a different country, and this year the country was Haiti. Some facts about hunger:
- 1 in 4 children don’t get the nutrition they need.
- More than 1 billion people experience hunger on a daily basis.
- A child dies from hunger-related causes every seven seconds.
- 8,000 children die every day because of hunger and hunger-related illnesses and diseases.
What we do is we go 30 hours without eating (juices are allowed!) and we raise money for it.
You might ask: how do you raise money by starving yourself? Well, we get sponsors. They can be anyone from your neighbor to your teacher to the president, and they donate money. One dollar will feed and care for a child for a day. One dollar. I think that’s so crazy. I mean, you can’t even buy a medium soda at McDonald’s or someplace similar for that much, and that’s enough to feed them!
This year we raised $990. We only had nine kids fundraising for it, and I think that’s really awesome. While it may not seem like a lot, and it’s far from banishing hunger to the history books, we’re still making a difference. We fed 990 kids, and to those specific kids, it makes all the difference.
It might sound pretty difficult to not eat for 30 hours, and in some ways it is. We do it to experience what these kids have to experience all the time, and while we know that at the end of those 30 hours there will be a nice meal prepared, these kids may not have any idea as to when there next meal will be, or if they will even live to see it. It’s something that we can’t truly grasp or understand. If we want water, we can go turn on the tap; if we want food, we can go open up the fridge and grab an apple, or simply head down to the grocery store and pick something up.
Every year, I’m constantly reminded of how blessed I am to have all these things right in front of me. Yes, my family struggles financially at times, as most do, yet our “struggling” can’t really compare to what they go through. Sometimes I wish that I had more money so I could go shopping more and get cuter clothes and all these silly things, and then I just feel really ungrateful for all the things I already am blessed with. Having what you have is not something to be ashamed of, I just think sometimes we take it for granted.
In 35 seconds, people’s lives in Haiti were completely turned around because of the earthquake. In 35 seconds, people lost homes, family, friends, and more. It’s not like they just woke up and knew their lives were going to be drastically changed today. They were just as surprised as the rest of us. It makes me really think, that could’ve happened to me. It could happen to any of us at anytime. I don’t mean to be all depressing or anything, it just gets you to think.
We also were given cards that had a child on Haiti on it. These cards had the child’s name on it and their story. Some of them were completely heart breaking. A lot of these kids had diseases, so to make the experience a little more real again, you would also be given the afflictions that they had. My girl, Josette, had cut her hands up really bad on glass and broken walls after the earthquake, so I had to wrap my hands up in cloth. It’s really hard to function without your hands! Andrew’s boy had malaria, so he had to wear a heavy coat (because I think fever is a side-effect. I don’t really remember why, to be honest). Some other people couldn’t talk or they would only be able to use one leg, or things of that sort. It was pretty funny to see this one girl hop around on one leg.
To keep our mind off of our growling stomachs, we kept pretty busy. We played a lot of games, learned a lot about Haiti and about hunger, and we cleaned out the youth room, which was actually pretty fun. We vacuumed out the couches and really cleaned everything, and we also got rid of a lot of clutter. It was crazy how old some of the stuff was! We found a scrapbook from the youth of 1995. It was pretty funny looking at old pictures. We also rearranged a lot of the furniture and took down some old posters and pictures. I wish I would’ve taken a before and after picture, but it was funny watching people walk into the room on Sunday morning (who weren’t there to help clean it out) and their reactions. It was like they walked into a different room. xD
All in all, it was a really fun weekend and it was awesome that we raised so much money. It’s nice to know you made a difference, no matter how small.
If you want more information about the 30 Hour Famine or what World Vision is doing to stop hunger, you can visit worldvision.org.