Happy National Volunteer Appreciation Week! In Verrado, volunteering is a celebrated part of the fabric that makes this small town with a big heart so great. And the residents of this very helpful community are about to demonstrate this in a very big way.
The 4th Annual Verrado Feed My Starving Children MobilePack Event will be held at Verrado High School on April 25th and 26th, coordinated in partnership with the Verrado Community and Summit Community Church (which holds services at Verrado High School). Starting with 100,000 meals packed in 2012, upped to 150,000 in 2013, and again increased to 217,000 meals packed here last year, the goal continues to grow. This year, an ambitious 250,000 meals will be packed, utilizing more than 1,200 local volunteers.
At just 22 cents a meal, every dollar raised makes a major difference to the fundraising and meal goals. The community is well on their way to raising the $55,000 needed to pay for the ingredients for the 250,000 meals they are determined to pack.
Scientifically formulated for malnourished children, these meals will be shipped to distribution partners around the world and served by more volunteers and missionaries. Last year the Verrado packed meals were delivered to the Philippines.
Get your kids volunteering too! “I got involved with volunteering for this event when I was looking for ways to give back that my then five year old could experience with me,” says event coordinator and Verrado resident Kimberly Banach. “They developed this program where families could volunteer together and kids ages five and up can participate.”
“There are jobs for any level of physical ability from the heavy rice and soy lifters, to the less physically demanding jobs where volunteers can chat while sitting and labeling the bags, called MannaPacks.” Many participants say they end up having so much fun they don’t even realize they are working. “My kindergartener packed in three of the 2-hour scheduled shifts that first year, and had so much fun she looks forward to doing it again every year,” Banach shared. It’s also a great opportunity to talk with children about hunger issues and the importance of giving back by volunteering.
America’s premier independent charity evaluator, Charity Navigator, has awarded Feed My Starving Children the highest 4-star rating for the tenth straight year. Since the organization uses so many volunteers to market the program and produce the meals, an impressive 92 percent of total monetary donations goes directly toward the food program. Make a donation here or sign up at this link to come out and help pack the meals right here in Verrado!