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How to Save a Life
Did you know over 18,000 children die each day because they don’t have enough to eat? Did you know that it only takes seventeen cents to buy one life saving meal for a child in need?
“Do you know what we’re going to be doing when we get there?” Kelsey asked me.
I replied, “Nope . . . but I think it will be an interesting experience for all of us,” which sent us all into a fit of uncontrollable giggles. Today was the day that we (that is Sarah, Kelsey, and I, along with my church) were going to the Feed My Starving Children foundation. We were all somewhat apprehensive, considering it was our first time going to volunteer there.
“We’re here!” Mrs. Boese informed us.
Oh boy. . . . This is it, I thought, hopefully my friends and I will be put into the same group.
Once we went inside, an elderly man wearing coke bottle glasses and a red t-shirt promoting Feed My Starving Children started giving us instructions on what we were supposed to do. Essentially we would be packaging meals that would feed malnourished children living in poverty.
First, we would have to open a bag and hold it under a large funnel. Next, we would have to add one level scoop of vegetarian chicken flavoring (which smelled like the chicken flavored Ramen Noodles), one measured scoop of dried vegetable flakes, one abundantly large cupful of powdered protein, and one extra heaping cupful of dry rice in that order. In the end the bags had to weigh between 380 and 400 grams. After the bag was filled with the food, someone over the age of eighteen would seal the bag, and it would be sent off to be boxed and finally the meals would be shipped to the countries in need. “Everybody ready?” the man asked. There was a murmur of agreement from the crowd. “Apparently you didn’t hear me. I said are you ready?”
“Yes!” The crowd cheered in unison.
“Hey guys over here!” I shouted. We all jogged over to an open station where we would prepare the meals. Luckily, we all ended up working at the same station along with Kristen, her parents, and another older woman whom we hadn’t met before. The older woman was scooping the chicken, Mr. Boese was adding the vegetables, Kelsey was stationed at the protein, Kristen was scooping rice, Sarah and I were holding the bags while they were being filled and then weighing them, and Mrs. Boese was sealing the bags and placing them in the boxes.
“This seems a heck of a lot easier than I thought it would be,” noted Sarah.
“I know!” Kelsey quickly agreed, “I just wish we could deliver the food ourselves or at least be more involved in delivering it.”
“Yeah I know what you mean. Standing in a nice heated building in the middle if Minnesota sealing plastic bags doesn’t seem helpful,” Mr. Boese responded, “But I’m positive all of these children are very grateful.”
Splosh! All of a sudden you could hear the pitter patter of rice spilling all over the floor. It sounded like rain hitting the window when there is a huge thunderstorm wreaking havoc outside.
“Way to go Lisa!” Kristen teased, “are you sure you don’t want to scoop rice instead?”
“Sure, why not.” Truthfully I was going to ask to switch with someone soon anyway; because that wasn’t the first time I spilled the food. . . . Just the first time that I spilt the rice all over the floor.
And so it went, we continued to bag meals for a good two hours before we heard the words “It’s time to clean up! Finish the bag you are on right now and clean up your workstation, and then meet up in the common room to watch a video about our organization.”
In the end we packaged fifty-six boxes, which is the equivalent of 12,096 meals. In other words we fed thirty-three children for one year. To me, this was a life changing experience, because it showed me that in just two hours, we saved thirty-three children from starving to death, and it’s a mystery to me why people don’t help out at organizations like Feed My Starving Children more often. On that day Kelsey, Sarah, and I promised ourselves that we would try to go back and help out as much as possible, because there are many more children out there who need our help.