GOAL packs meals for children in Haiti. Jenny Lessnau | Courtesy

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.”