As great as it is to follow Chris and his ride around the world, I often find myself looking for ways to help the cause without committing years of my life to a journey such as his. The first step is education, but once people realize how huge the issue is, they all too often get discouraged and do nothing, thinking the problem is beyond us. That is not the case at all, and my weekend is proof of that.
In July I am going on a missionary trip to Haiti to help MissionE4 rebuild some schools destroyed during the Earthquake. Part of our groups training for the trip is some teambuilding events and one of them was a “homeless night” where we got together at the Church on Friday and spent the night outside with nothing but the clothes on our backs and a stack of card board boxes to fashion up some shelters with.
This exercise really only touched on the experience but it was done in conjunction with the youth group and served as a great lesson for them as well. My son took part in this event with me and was part of the continued exercise the following day known as the 30 hour famine. Like the homeless night it is designed to give youth a glimpse of what it is like to not have a basic need met and feel even just for a day what other children around the world are feeling day after day.
They reviewed humbling statistics and really had their eyes opened up. Along with the lessons learned, it was a fund raiser to help hungry children around the world through World Vision. I myself was taught a humbling lesson as well when I learned just one of the girls taking part of this event raised a bit over $2,700 for the 30 hour famine through pledges from friends and family. If one 14 year old can do that, surely I can do more.
On Sunday was the walk for hunger in Boston. I put a team together for this last year with the youth group at my previous Church and wanted to continue my support this year. Unfortunately my new church could not participate as they were having a big fundraiser the same day for our Haiti missionary trip so I got a team together of friends and family. The walk for hunger has been going on for over 40 years in Boston and helps fund Project Bread, a non-profit organization that helps fund food programs locally in Massachusetts for hungry families and kids. The walk was 20 miles through Boston on a very hot and sunny day amidst a water shortage due to a broken water main affecting over 2 million residents. Luckily the water stations where supplied with clean spring water and eventually we made it the full 20 miles of the walk with the kids making it a solid 5 miles. In total the event drew 42,000 walkers and raised 3.8 million dollars to help fund Project Bread. Our teams donations may not have been as much as I wanted but it felt great being among so many others just trying to do their part and then seeing how much money was raised between everyone together.
You may read these blogs and agree that something must be done but doubt what you can do as an individual. It will take a lot to change the world, but every little bit helps and collectively we can make a difference. You do not have to dedicate years of your life to ride a motorcycle around the world to help, join me in showing my support through acting locally and giving globally.
Jared Williams, PR Director