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The Little Things

By , cottage grove, MN
Every year thousands of children die due to starvation. But we helped, and because of us 33 children will live healthier lives. Because of us 33 families won't be as affected by their country's poverty. Because if us.


"Would you two pleaseeee settle down!" My friend, Lisa, barked at me and my other friend Sarah, in a joking matter of course.


"Oh...ha-ha... Sorry!" I stammered between sleep-deprivation-induced giggles. Lisa, Sarah, Kristen, I, and some of the other youth from Rose of Sharon Church waited for a few last minute arrivals. While waiting Sarah and I were introduced to the kids that showed up, and not to brag but I remembered most of their names.


"Alright, everyone's here, let's head on out," the youth group leader told us. After the world's most random conversations in Kristen's van, we arrived at Feed My Starving Children in Eagan.



For those of you who don't know, Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization whose goal is to help feed the youth in impoverished countries. There building was seemingly small but upon entering I simultaneously noticed two things. The first thing was that there was much more to the building then I previously thought. The second was that the air had an odd odor of Ramen noodles and dog food. After a brief history of the organization and a lecture on how to pack the scientifically designed meals, we headed back to the packing stations where we met an interesting fellow.



"Hello, my name is Adam and I am wearing this hat because it is National Cowboy Hat Day, in my head," Adam continued to explain the process, ”Ok so, first you got your baggers. They put the bag under the funnel, and once it’s full they weigh it, put it in this tray, and then the sealers seal it. Now here’s the fun part; First, someone puts in a level cup of vegetarian chicken flavoring. Next, we need a level cup of dried veggies, my favorite. And this is important; we need heaping cups full of both protein and rice…any questions?” I tried to pay attention, although I will admit that I was slightly distracted by his black nail polish.



We spread out to the various packing zones and picked our jobs. Our incredible group consisted of Lisa who began the evening as a bagger, but after a tragic rice-spill accident (which will forever go down in history as the Rice Devastation of ’09), she retired as a rice-putter-in-er, which is in fact, the technical term. Kristen was the kindhearted person to take her place. Kristen’s father put in the dried veggies, Sarah was a bagger, and Kristen’s mother was a sealer, which is what I wanted to do, but to my misfortune, I am not 18 or older. I, on the contrary, had the distinct honor of putting in the vile smelling soy protein. The only person in our group that I didn’t know was an elderly woman who put in the chicken flavoring. We did this over and over, with a few mess ups on the way, but for the most part we were acting as one, like a well oiled machine.



“YES! A perfect bag!” we celebrated each time our bag was weighed at a perfect 390 grams. The time flew by as the rice danced down the funnel. In what seemed to be no time at all we had packed about three boxes of food at just our table alone. We packed over 40 boxes as a group that day.



I felt different by the end of the day. It was a small change. We had watched a heartwarming video about various kids that were saved by this program and I fought back tears. I suddenly felt guilty thinking about all I had and all I took for granted on a daily basis. I have a two story house with running water, heating, and cable that only share with three other people, where some people in the countries the food is sent to live in shacks and share with 5 to 6 other people. A tin roof supported by 2 by 4s and plywood, that’s all they have. It was then when I started to think about other things I could do that would help people. Lisa, Sarah, and I decided to pack food there at least once a month. It was a small thing, but if we put all our effort together it does make a difference, and anyone can help, that’s the great thing.





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