Wednesday Apr 12 2017
“Can you imagine putting your babies down to bed and they’re starving and crying?”
I could hear the pain in Angie’s voice as she asked this question. And it struck a nerve in me as well. No, I can’t imagine! I doubt anyone reading this can fully understand, which I’m sure thankful for. But there are many in the world who can. It’s why Gardner Village and The Black Goose Design co-owner Angie Gerdes is so passionate about Feed My Starving Children.
This program puts food in the mouths of the hungry… Actually, “hungry” isn’t even enough. It’s called Feed My STARVING Children, because these babes are severely malnourished.
The statistics are startling. According to UNICEF, at least 6,200 kids die from hunger-related causes EVERY DAY. Think about that for a moment. It’s difficult to fathom, isn’t it?
“We just don’t understand poverty like that,” Angie said.
While it seems an overwhelming situation, there are ways we can help.
On April 28 and 29, volunteers (ages 5 and up) are coming together at The Gathering Place at Gardner Village to pack meals. Gardner Village and The Black Goose Design owners, Angie Gerdes and Joe Long, have donated the events space for the weekend to make this effort possible. Representatives from the Feed My Starving Children corporate office will be on site to coordinate the effort, which includes packing food and praying over each meal packed.
“They keep it fun,” Angie said, discussing her experience packing when they hosted this same effort last year. “They play music and tell you what you’re doing as you do it so you get a real idea of the difference you’re making!”
The packed food is then sent out to missionaries throughout the world, who get the meals into the hands of those who so desperately need them.
While fun, the experience can also be quite emotional.
“I just cried half the day,” Angie continued. “The staff really gets their hearts involved in what they’re doing. They’ve been there to deliver the food and know firsthand the impact it makes in the communities receiving it.”
Feed My Starving Children works with professional nutritionists to create the food mixtures. They make certain the nourishment is there to turn severely malnourished children into healthy, happy children. The lasting benefits are vast. Malnourished children often suffer permanent developmental/mental complications, making it hard for them to change their circumstances as adults (if they survive to adulthood). By helping children, it helps the entire community better their situation. More healthy adults come out of this cycle, which is so very important.
While all volunteer spots have been filled this year, you can still help in a major way--a financial contribution. Just $0.25 will feed a child for a day! That means a single dollar will feed four children for a day! Talk about an impact! And $80 will feed a child for a YEAR! Isn’t that remarkable? If you want to donate to the Gardner Village/The Black Goose Design fund, you can do so here. Or you can do so in any of the Gardner Village shops between now and April 28. Jars are set up to collect those quarters.
If you’ve followed this blog for a while now, you know I’m a freelance writer/photographer who has been blessed to work with Gardner Village for the past two years. That work includes connecting with you here each week. I can say as a third party that Angie and Joe are some of the kindest business owners you’ll ever meet. They lead with heart and genuinely want to make life better for all who interact with Gardner Village and The Black Goose Design. To see them extending such compassion on a global scale comes as no surprise. That’s just the kind of people they are. Of course, Angie sees it slightly differently.
“We’re a business. We should give back to our community and the world. By partnering with Feed My Starving Children, it feels like we can make a dent in this massive problem and see the impact we’re making. It just feels nice and is something we can all get behind as a company and a community.”
I hope the community will get behind this and take a minute to share this post online. Together, we can do great things to help those who have so little.
P.S. If you want to experience what it's like to be a part of the packing fun, you are not out of luck. Plans for a 2018 event are already in the works. We'll be sure to mention the opportunity to sign up when the time comes, so please keep your eye on our various social media channels early next spring. In the meantime, those financial donations sure are appreciated! Thanks for your support and interest!