Last week we had a post with Kari Day, Health-e Pro employee and community rock star, who hosted an event that could help change someone’s world. Thanks to a grant from Health-e Giving and contributions from the community, she hosted a hunger project with Feeding Children Everywhere to pay for and pack 35,000 meals on October 6 in Skagit Valley, Washington. Note: That wasn’t a typo–that’s really 35,000 meals! Actually, make that 35,712 meals!
How did the event go? Would she tackle something this audacious again?! Read more to find out!
How was the event?
The event was great! It was well organized; the people at Feeding Children Everywhere were on TOP of it–they solved problems quickly, and with a great attitude! It was amazing to me!
We started by introducing Feeding Children Everywhere and the purpose behind what we were doing. Feeding the Children Everywhere got everybody laughing and on the same page, talked about what we were going to do, and I was able thank everyone for coming. When we started the packing, there was music going, and as we were packaging meals, they’d tell us how far along we were–”you’re at 24,000 meals!”–and keep everybody pumped up.
We had close to 200 people there, and we packaged 35,712 meals in about an hour. There was a mix of people from all walks of life. There were moms and dads and kids, soccer teams, high school students, people from local churches, just PEOPLE! One guy I’d never met found it on Facebook and came early to help us set up! The event was shared on Facebook 90 times with people that I don’t even know; I’m not even sure how they found out! But they were there and they loved it and wanted to keep doing it!
What feedback have you gotten? What have you heard from participants?
I got a lot of great feedback! Everybody that I talked to absolutely loved it. They could not believe how fast those meals were packed! They couldn’t believe how fun it was, the kids had a blast!! You wouldn’t think teenagers would think scooping beans was fun, but they liked the fast-paced atmosphere and how fast the meals multiplied. I kept hearing comments like, “So much fun today!” and “Count us in for next time!” “So happy to be a part of this!”
I even got one comment from someone saying, “there are many people out there that want to serve but just aren’t sure how. To all those leaders that have dreamed and wondered if they should. . . Please do! Together we can be the change.”
I heard from people that we should do it again, and do it for longer than an hour. So many parents said how much their kids loved it and that even the little ones loved being able to help.
Now that you’ve done this, what would be your advice to someone tackling a big undertaking like this?
I think I’ll do it again! Everybody’s energized to do this again and they want to do more, and for it to reach farther. That’s a good thing. One of the things I’ve learned is that businesses wanted to contribute, but needed more time to participate in the project.
Next time, I’ll have more time so that I can do things differently, and better. I’ll have more time so I can reach more people. I’ll have more options with more time to plan.
I also learned that, for this kind of stuff, I love social media! It moves like wildfire. People got a vision of what this was very quickly. Word was being spread with people, and with even more time, I could ramp it up a bit more, maybe get more people involved. I loved that people came and helped that weren’t involved with any particular organization or any particular group of people. It was a lot of people from different places, and they all got it through social media or word of mouth or the radio interview. The power of social media really multiplies your efforts. It was good to see for something that’s worthwhile.
Back to my purpose behind this, our culture is so divided, that I wanted to do something that brought people together for one purpose: to help those in our community. When we reach out and do something selfless like that, sometimes we’re blessed more than the receiver! We feel more love and gratitude when we do those things than those who are receiving the meals do. This kind of thing brings people together.
I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “We’re going to do it bigger next year!” It was so fun to see how it all came together and how well it went, and that people loved the experience. So, fingers crossed, we’ll get to do it again soon!