Hillsdale stu­dents vol­un­teered their time on April 22 for a meal-packing event. Alexis Daniels | Col­legian

Rick Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl” blared over the loud­speakers in Biermann Ath­letic Center as a sea of at least one hundred vol­un­teers from Hillsdale College in shower caps, plastic aprons, and clear gloves stood at tables and packaged non-per­ishable food items at the meal-packing event on Sunday afternoon. As the stu­dents ani­mated their tables with laughter and con­ver­sation, cups of dry beans, soy protein, chicken flavor packets, and brown rice streamed into clear plastic bags, which vol­un­teers then sealed and stored with the other packaged meals.

The meal-packing event, which brought together vol­un­teers from all over campus and went on for two hours, was the result of a month-long fundraiser by Hillsdale College to feed starving children. Morgan Bolander, one of the team leaders who brought the sup­plies for the event, said that the meals will all go to an orga­ni­zation called Mission of Hope Haiti.

“The food they’re pack­aging today is actually going to feed the Haiti kids for the entire school year,” Bolander said. “It’s a huge thing, what Hillsdale is doing.”

Team leaders Bolander and Jason Hecker are part of an orga­ni­zation called Numana, which partners with Mission of Hope Haiti to raise enough money to dis­tribute food to children in Haiti.

“We’re head­quar­tered out of Wichita, Kansas,” Hecker said. “I drove the truck here with all the sup­plies, mate­rials, and every­thing needed, and the college pro­vided vol­un­teers and the funding that it took to bring us here.”

Hecker said that the people at Numana joined because they are pas­sionate about “helping others to serve the hungry,” but he also said that he has enjoyed so much more.

“I know per­sonally what’s kept me here and really helped me enjoy every aspect of the job is working with all the vol­un­teers,” he said. “It’s absolutely been won­derful, besides the fact that you’re talking about thou­sands of kids are getting fed every day that weren’t getting fed before.”

Bolander agreed, saying that the stu­dents are changing up to eighty lives.

“College-aged stu­dents are pack­aging food and caring about other people outside,” she said. “It’s a breath of fresh air to be here with college stu­dents who are inter­ested in that.”

The stu­dents who vol­un­teered at the meal-packing event gave pos­itive feedback on the expe­rience. For freshman Olivia Manocchio, the expe­rience was about serving others.

“I wanted to be able to help people, and this seemed like a great way to do it,” Manocchio said. “This is a lot of fun, espe­cially the music and getting to be with some friends here.

Sophomore Brigid Maj­mudar agreed, saying that she knew it was going to be enjoyable because of the com­munity.

“It seemed like a fun com­munity thing,” Maj­mudar said. “And so many people are here…These things are always fun. This is Hillsdale.”