10 Years of Feeding the Hungry
After nine years of an event, you’d think Jane Murschel (Holy Trinity 1054) and her team of nearly 20 adult volunteer planners have their event down to a science, and you’d be right. In this Feeding God’s Children event’s 10th year, while there are many familiar faces, a group of new people lights up the room. The Adult Training and Habilitation Center (ATHC), from which 15 people attended last year’s event, contacted Jane and asked if they could volunteer once more – this time with 39 people. The ATHC’s purpose is to aid adults with developmental disabilities or related conditions with becoming more productive, self-reliant and independent. “We are so excited to have them join us again,” Jane said. She continued, visibly moved by their gesture, “It's touching to see people who you'd normally be helping come out here and participate in serving others.”
The event has grown in popularity among other volunteer groups, too. Kindergartners through high school seniors came in waves, and one of the age groups in between received a special shout-out. “Are there any ninth graders in here?” Jane asked over the gym’s PA system. A few hands shot up. “These students participated in the very first event,” Jane explained, “as kindergartners.”
“This is pretty cool,” Katlyn Pokornowski, a senior in high school, said. “I have a softball game today [so I have to leave early]. I’m kind of upset because I wanted to stay here and help!”
Many parishioners and other community members assisted in making this event possible through donations. This year, they raised $10,012 to pack meals for this event, pushing the total fundraising amount in the event’s history to $105,316!
They’re competitive – against themselves – because they know each meal they pack is life-changing, and they’re confident in their ability to surpass the previous year’s total count. Jane’s love of metrics lends itself nicely to this competition, fueling the hourly updates of meals packed (11,880 after one hour and 31,000 after two). Though this year was without a doubt a roaring success, Jane and team are always looking for ways to grow the event and do something new or different. “I already have an idea for next year to better engage the local businesses,” Jane said, excited. And Katlyn has some encouraging words for anyone who’s new to the school, like she was a few years ago, or hesitant about participating in a service event: “Go for it and do it! It’s a fun experience to meet so many new people and students, too.”
Volunteers packed 73,224 meals during this event. Like their love of this event continues to grow, you can expect the number of meals these volunteers pack to follow the same trend.
Article by Katlyn Gerken.