Over the course of a single hour, 120 volunteers packaged 20,982 meals for children in Haiti, enough to feed 83 kids for an entire school year.
Volunteers packaged the meals with the assistance of Numana, Inc., a nonprofit hunger relief organization. The GOAL Program organized volunteers and raised money for the event, while Numana provided the supplies and expertise needed to make it a success.
The event almost didn’t happen, though. Senior Allison Deckert, director of the GOAL Program, said fundraising difficulties left GOAL scrambling to raise $3,700 in one week to prevent the event’s cancellation. GOAL was able to raise $4,900 in just seven days, more than enough money to hold the event.
“It was really powerful for me to see God’s faithfulness in the fundraising,” Deckert said. “It was a panicked week, and just to see all of the donations line up providentially was really powerful.”
At the event, music played constantly, with cheering after every box of 36 meals was fully packed, and a volunteer banging a gong to commemorate the achievement of each new milestone. Jason Hecker, an operations manager for Numana, said the attitude of the volunteers was one of his favorite parts about working this type of event.
“There is nothing better than going to work with someone who has the same goal of wanting to help as you do,” Hecker said. “It is a very small group of us at the warehouse and we have a blast working with the volunteers.”
While the two most senior officers of GOAL said they were satisfied with the event, GOAL Coordinator Lucile Townley said there is a chance the event will not occur every year.
“My goal would be to alternate this event, where all of the work and good go overseas, with a large-scale volunteer event in Hillsdale County,” Townley said. “Fundraising $6,000 two years in a row is tough, and since GOAL is focused on Hillsdale community service rather than volunteering in general, we would like to alternate it.”