Rocking and Rolling for Hunger in New Orleans

Last weekend, Feed the Children participated in its first Rock N’ Roll Marathon in New Orleans. Our goals were simple: raise awareness and funds to defeat hunger and have fun doing it! 400 families in the Central City section received food and essential products for the week. Thomas Morstead of the New Orleans Saints served as our team captain. 

We hope this event was just the start of future pursuits for #TeamFeedtheChildren.  Heather Montgomery, a blogger shared her experience being a part of the weekend and we knew you’d be inspired by it. Here’s her story:

This past weekend, not only did I get to run my first post baby half marathon, but I got to meet up with fellow runners and bloggers, and do some good for the city of New Orleans. For those that don’t know, I was born right outside of the city in Metairie, and I grew up about 30 miles away. I still consider it home, as all of my family is still there, so I was excited to give back and help Feed the Children last Saturday. . . . .

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Feed the Children was the benefitting charity for this race, which I was happy to hear. We have been supporters of the charity for years, and it was really great to see them in action in the community. On this day, 400 families were going to be given food, toiletry items, haircuts, lunch, and fro yo! We arrived at the Apex youth center and a line had already formed outside.

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We arrived just in time to throw on some volunteer t-shirts and catch the end of the volunteer meeting.

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Families would go through the inside of the center and then out onto the basketball court where we had boxes of food and such. Whole Foods was there giving away fruit, and we manned the milk station.

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There was a DJ, a lot of amazing volunteers, and…..

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THOMAS MORSTEAD! He is the punter for the New Orleans Saints….and if you know ANYTHING about me, you know I love Saints football. Heck, I stalked Malcolm Jenkins in the New Orleans airport last year so I could get a picture. Thomas does a TON for the city of New Orleans. He is always in the news helping different charities, and it was so great to meet him. He actually took the time to talk to me which was super nice. He and his wife were running the 10k the next day, and he told me he wasn’t in running shape so he hoped a lot of people stopped him along the way so he could get a break! The coolest thing was not once did he “act famous”. He graciously took photos when asked, but I constantly saw him working, carrying boxes, and helping people…and it was awesome.

After my total geek out moment, it was back to work. I moved over to the boxes provided by AVON, helping hand them out to the grateful families.

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It was such an amazing experience getting to give back during a race weekend, and see where the charity money goes. Yes I could have been out on the beautiful day that is was exploring the city or enjoying my first baby free weekend with Bobby, but this was way, way more important, and I am so glad that Rock ‘n Roll made it possible for us to take part. We need to never forget while we are enjoying our racecations and running our miles, that there are families out there thankful just for a quart of milk and a free haircut. It really makes you realize how truly blessed we really are, and how great Rock ‘n Roll is for having a charity for their races!

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Thanks to Larisa for some of the photos!

QOTD: Have you ever helped out at a charity event?

I’m Running to Defeat Hunger

I am doing something that I thought I’d never do. On January 23rd, I will be running my first ever marathon!

When I first learned that Feed the Children was the benefiting charity of the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in New Orleans this month, I made the commitment to run a full marathon on behalf of the children we serve.

MK2022 Employee Swag Day Aug 2014 PAllen (15)I am 46 years old and prior to this experience have never considered myself much of a runner (though I have played other sports).

In fact, it had been several years prior to my current marathon training that I had even put on a pair of running shoes with the intent of running in them. The longest distance I had ever run prior to my commitment was 6 miles and that was a lifetime ago.

Number one question that my friends and family have asked over the last couple of months has been is this difficult? Absolutely!

In order to run 26.2 miles you have to train for months.  Marathon training requires a lot of time, dedication and hard work. You have to be prepared to run in all kinds of conditions, the heat, the cold, rain and snow. Adding to the difficulty I experienced a fairly significant groin injury, had cortisone shots in both knees, and had muscle soreness like I have never experienced before, even during all my years of sports.

But, do the hardships that I have faced in my training compare to those faced by the children we serve each and every day?

Absolutely not! I accepted this challenge because I want to do my part to raise awareness on the issues of hunger.

Our vision of “no child going to bed hungry” will not happen on its own.

It will take each and every one of us to take a stand, make a commitment and unite together to defeat hunger.

As a father of four children, I cannot imagine my children having to worry about when or if they will eat again. Every child deserves to experience the awesomeness that goes along with being a kid and should never have to spend one second worrying about their next meal.

The fact that nearly 16 million children in our own country live in a food-insecure household is simply unacceptable to me. New Orleans is no exception with 1 in 6 people facing hunger issues on a daily basis. Yet, I believe the awareness we are bringing to hunger in New Orleans can change this!

What can you do to help Feed the Children realize our vision of no child going to bed hungry? Join Team Feed the Children as we run to end childhood hunger and make our miles meaningful.  Join us or donate toward our efforts on our website.

Chris is the Senior Director of Corporate Donor Relations at Feed the Children.

Making Your Year End Contributions Easy

It’s that time of year in the United States — with only three days left to think about your 2014 taxes — especially if you are a procrastinator like we are at our house.

It’s those days when you gather up receipts. You count your donations. And you ask yourself the question, did I give enough?

It’s the time of year you say to your spouse: “Wouldn’t you rather give our money to a charity than to pay taxes on it?”

If this is where you find yourself on this last week of 2014, then we have some great ideas for you to contribute in the most tangible of ways, at a variety of different price points.

1. Want to give less than $50?  Then why not give one food and one essential care box that feeds a family of four in the US for a week?

We recently told you the story of a Georgia family where the father lost his job but because of Feed the Children the kids had food for the week!  Giving this gift of $38 could mean the difference between hope and hopelessness for a family in the US.

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2. Want to give less than $100? Why not give a goat that will uplift a family in a country like Malawi?

Goats in places countries like Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, countries where we work, can mean the difference between prosperity and despair. We recently told you about a woman in Malawi who received two goats and it changed the course of her kids’ lives. Your donation could bring a smile like this!

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 3. Want to give give a gift that is just a little bit more? Could you give $113? With this end of year donation, you could provide all the food, care and support an abandoned baby needs to thrive in Kenya.

We recently told you the story of how one baby girl in our center came to us after a terrorist attack killed her parents. She found loving caregivers and hope for adoption because of Feed the Children donors. This could be you!

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If these price points don’t meet your needs– if you can give more or you could give less– here’s a link to a way you can make a donation in the amount of your choice.

Thank you donors, partners, and friends for helping Feed the Children champion kids all over the world!  We believe in a world where one day hunger will end, because together we will defeat it.

 

Child Sponsors: We Salute You!

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love! – Hamilton Wright Mabie

Since 2009, I’ve been traveling the world with musicians, singers, songwriters and their teams in hopes of this very thing: to engage the world with love and involve as many people in this lofty pursuit as possible.

In 2013, I joined the team at Feed the Children as Director of Artist Relations, Child Sponsorship and Media excited about how I could champion Feed the Children’s mission that no child goes to bed hungry!

After all the miles flown and countries visited, I still believe that one idea, like this, can change the world. We’ve seen it happen throughout history and continue to see it today. But ideas alone do not bring about change. This is what I’ve come to know through my work: change happens when WE engage the world around us and come together with a common goal. Partnership is the key! When we work together, lives are impacted and change is evident.

Over the past year at Feed the Children, we have seen the ripples of change turn into waves through child sponsorship. With over 20,000 kids sponsored in 2014, these simple single acts of kindness have created a tsunami of love for children and families all over the world. Your gracious monthly gifts have not only provided necessities to sustain life but they’ve given hope and the opportunity to dream big.

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Kids are smiling.

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Kids are playing.

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Kids are being kids!

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So, if you are a child sponsor…THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! This is the message the children have for you!

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You have chosen to impact the life of a child and to unite with us as we together engage the world around us with love.

From the entire child sponsorship team, know how grateful we are for you! Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

-Crystal Hutchinson

Defeating Hunger for Thousands of Kids in Philippines After Typhoon

DSCN6458Imagine you are 8 years old living in Cebu. And your mom tells you that another big storm is about to hit your island, like last year.

You’d wonder about what might happen to your toys.

You’d wonder if the waters would get too high.

You’d wonder if you’d have a house to go home to when the storm passed.

And then the rains start and the winds come. Imagine how scared you’d feel and how worried you’d be about your friends, down the street.

DSCN6441When morning came, what would your street look like? What about your school? And your friends’ houses?

This is the reality for so many kids in the Philippines right now.

No water. No power. Destroyed homes and schools.

Today, the worst may be over for the kids in the Philippines as Typhoon Hagupit (locally name “Ruby”) ravaged central islands for days, but the challenge to feed thousands of children and family members is beginning to hound the country.

In Northern Cebu, though families started returning to their homes Monday, many houses were totally destroyed still remained at evacuation centers needing food and other assistance.

Many families who thought the worse couldn’t happen to them again are now facing their worst fears.

IMG_0721The good news is that thanks to our generous donors, Feed the Children started providing hot meals fortified with VitaMeal in evacuation centers of Bogo, Cebu, while simultaneously conducting rapid disaster needs and assessment to other hit areas of Northern Cebu.

Kids in the streets and at community gathering points are being greeted by loving Feed the Children staff. Working around the clock, our staff is encouraging kids that through the gift of a hot meal they are seen. They are cared for. And together, one step at a time, life will be better.

One thing is for sure: recovery in the Philippines will be a long process.

Few families have back up plans for what to do when the little bit of food they have runs out.

Although most parents and kids in the areas of Tabogon and Daan Bantayan, Cebu were no longer in evacuation centers as of Monday afternoon, there is still the need to distribute emergency food packs.

Most families’ whose livelihood relies on fishing were unable to go out fishing since Thursday and farmers were unable to harvest crops and fruits.

The Philippine government has yet to release official total damage assessments but has declared 7 regions to be under a state of calamity including Metro Manila, the capital City.

IMG_0746Feed the Children has worked in the Philippines for the last 25 years, and we are here to stay. We will continue to distribute emergency aid until it is no longer needed, one child, one mother, one father at a time.

Help us help kids recover from this storm. Join us in the fight to defeat hunger for kids right now in the Philippines.