Patty Frank, a working mother of three children under age 10, was looking for a volunteer opportunity for her entire family when she came across Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), a Christian non-profit organization started in 1987 that pledges to turn hunger into hope.
Looking for a way to address the needs of children suffering from malnourishment, FMSC worked with Minnesota scientists to develop a special formula combining rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, and 20 vitamins and minerals. The meal they devised provides grain, protein, nutrition and flavor in an easily-distributed format.
FMSC volunteers assemble the ingredients into food packs that are sent through a network of missions and humanitarian organizations around the world. Those groups then distribute the food packs to schools, clinics, orphanages, refugee camps and other feeding programs.
Children as young as 5 help assemble the individual food packs. For many kids, it’s the first opportunity to experience what it’s like to serve, and it can be a real impact. The hope is that children will be inspired to become lifetime volunteers, and that’s what initially drew Patty to this unique opportunity.
After further research, Patty decided that volunteering with her family was just not enough, and instead she chose to lead an effort to host an FMSC MobilePack event at her local church, which was no small undertaking.
Hosting a mobile event required Patty to commit to raising $23,000, the funds necessary to pack 100,000 meals. In addition, she would be responsible for securing a location, coordinating supplies and securing at least 500 volunteers to work two-hour shifts on the day of the event.
To raise the $23,000, Patty enlisted six friends to help. For a year, the team planned and executed a number of fundraising events including car washes, a fashion show, and a Euchre card tournament. In addition, they worked with local businesses willing to donate a percentage of their sales on a specified date.
Two weeks ago, the second FMSC MobilePack was hosted in Hudson, Ohio where 680 volunteers packed nearly 117,000 meals. Patty stated, “Sometimes I would just look out at the sea of people and almost tear up, seeing it actually happen. Someone told me, ‘You must be exhausted!’ and I said, ‘The exact opposite, this gives me energy.’ She said, ‘Oh, it will hit you later,’ and I replied, ‘I don't think it will!’”
The MobilePack event was a success, thanks to Patty and the 680 volunteers who took action to make a difference. If you’re interested in helping FMSC’s great organization, visit their website at www.fmsc.org.