John and I always encourage our kids to help others. We like our family to volunteer because we think it is a good thing to do. And, even though this is somewhat selfish, because we believe volunteering helps our whole family keep our lives in perspective.
We find it’s easier to appreciate our own lives when we help others. For instance, meal time is a struggle at our home. Planning the menu is a hassle, and our children often complain about the choices (unless cake is involved :–). However, when we spent a morning volunteering for #FeedMyStarvingChildren, our meal time quandary was quickly put back in the cupboard, way, way in the back!
Feed My Starving Children feeds children in foreign countries. Not only do these children not have food choices, they often do not even have food! And this is where Feed My Starving Children steps in.
Feed My Starving Children provides impoverished children with three meals a day in the form of a “Manna Packet” (from the perspective of the children and their parents, it apparently seems like manna). More on the contents later, but in short, the breakfast, lunch, and dinner problem is solved in that the children receive basic life-sustaining healthy food.
Imagine in the USA, having to eat the same thing every day for three meals a day. It would be deemed cruel and unusual punishment. However, for many of the children their option is to not have any sense of where their next meal is coming from, and hence they cannot focus on building a more stable, healthy, and practical future as they are merely focused on trying to survive the day.
We had this conversation with our children, and they got it – instant perspective!
So here is how it went. On a Saturday morning we filed into a local school auditorium and kicked off the day by watching a short film with the other volunteers (in our morning, there were close to 300 people there).
This movie basically highlighted the lives of children who were malnourished. It reminded me of the children I saw on the Sally Struthers commercials growing up (yes, that was in the 80′s so now you can guess roughly how old I am). It was heartbreaking for me and eye opening for my children to see such poverty.
Then our learning experience turned to hands on work as our family donned fashionable (well not so much really) hair net protectors and entered the gymnasium to pack the #MannaPackets, which each contain a scoop of vegetables, vitamins, soy, and rice. Over the course of two hours our volunteer group packed enough food to feed 93,000 children for a year.
Again, imagine those same contents for every meal of every day with no variety! Perspective…
At the end of our shift, we were given samples of the #MannaPacks. The primary food was a very bland mushy oatmeal. I can’t imagine eating that for three meals a day, but I have, thankfully, never gone hungry. Perspective…
The experience working together as a family alonside of hundreds of other volunteers was fulfilling and thought provoking for my husband and I, and clearly for our children as well.
I haven’t had many complaints about our meal choices lately, and my children are now putting part of their allowance into a “giving jar”. They want to continue to give to others less fortunate. Those few volunteer hours had a greater impact on my children than I could have ever achieved with my mommy lectures.
I can wholeheartedly endorse Feed My Starving Children. You can learn more on the web at http://www.fmsc.org. While you are there, you should sign up to volunteer this holiday season.
And, by the way, just so you know this charity is legit, consider that Feed My Starving Children has a 99.9 percent success rate directly delivering food to these starving children who need . In fact, Feed My Starving Children received the highest rating possible from Charity Navigator, which is a leading charity watchdog.
So grab your family and some friends and enjoy your time together as you help someone less fortunate. We are glad we did it!