By Samantha Gillis
The $1.50 you just bought a soda with could have fed six starving mouths and still had 20 cents to flip into the wishing well.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 20, at Strother Field everyone has the chance to save lives without even leaving the county. Discipleship and Numana have teamed up to package food for Haiti refugees. Each package consists of rice, soy, beans and vitamins. One package is equal to six meals and costs $1.30.
Numana is a non-profit organization whose mission is to battle starvation. From Dec. 29, 2009, to July 30, 2010, about 20,414,000 meals were packaged at 45 Numana events around the country.
“Typically an organization raises the funds for Numana and we provide the supplies and organize the event,” said Jennifer Conrady, elementary education junior and Numana volunteer. Conrady is helping Discipleship facilitate the event, but is not helping them raise funds.
However, Leadership has stepped up to raise funds with Discipleship. “We will be making the rounds through the resident halls to ask students to donate what little money they have,” said Caitlin McCurdy, psychology junior. Leadership’s goal is to have 50 percent of their team participate.
Conrady said volunteers can expect to feel a part of something outside of their world. “The event empowers people to save the starving,” said Conrady.
Although there is registration to participate in the event, Conrady said it isn’t necessary. “The purpose of registration is to help Numana gauge how many people will be there so we can set up enough supplies and tables at a given time,” she said.
“The thing I love about Numana is that anyone and everyone can be a part of the effort,” Conrady said. She has seen children as young as one-year-old to adults too fragile to stand, but they will sit for hours to help package.
One thing Conrady values about Numana is the ability for the volunteer to connect to the people they are helping.
“Volunteers will write their names on the boxes, or write notes of encouragement. Volunteering is so much more than just writing a check,” she said.
Conrady sees how some students may find it difficult to connect with someone halfway around the world, but thinks if they can get some perspective on what the Haitian people are going through, they will sympathize.
“To know what starving really means will change you. Look up the difference between starving and hunger. There is a huge difference,” Conrady said.
McCurdy agrees that the project is worth students’ time. “It is important to experience service,” she said.
Conrady said, “Even for just 15 minutes, take time to do something bigger than yourself. It is important to realize there is more to life than just you.”
Samantha Gillis is a senior majoring in convergent journalism. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.