On Wednesday, June 20th, Give and Grin youth and adults helped to end world hunger by volunteering at Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids. Afterward, they headed over to Grand Slam to ride bumper cars, laser tag, and more! Keep reading to hear all about our day.
The kids started out the morning as usual; putting name tags on, bringing a bag lunch, and playing a morning game or activity while waiting for the rest to arrive. When everyone arrived, we sat down to have the rundown of the day and say a prayer. Once again going over the Corporal Works of Mercy (http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/jubilee-of-mercy/the-corporal-works-of-mercy.cfm) and saying a prayer for various community members we wanted to pray for. Then we filed onto our bus and made the trek to Feed My Starving Children, or FMSC (https://volunteer.fmsc.org/register/#.WyvaXFVKiUk).
When we got there were learned that June 20th is World Refugee Day (http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/), so it worked perfectly with our mission and message! The food we were packaging for the day was being sent to Nicaragua. With hairnets on and a skip in our step, Corpus was assigned stations 4 and 5 for packaging Manna Packs. The fun upbeat music and lively environment brought smiles to the faces of many and harbored a productive afternoon. After an hour and 15 minutes of packing, it was time to clean up and grab a sample of the FMSC food; kids say this is one of the best parts of volunteering at FMSC. The contents of the Manna Packs have been carefully crafted for those who are malnourished; they are packed full of vitamins, nutrients, vegetables, and rice. We found out they have recently started distributing these rice packs to refugee camps as well as disaster relief camps. The staff then told everyone that in total, all the volunteers (there were a few other church groups there that day) had packed 177 boxes of food, which means 38,232 meals! And the total number of kids being fed for a year from just those boxes they packed was 105 kids. The total cost for all of that was $8,411.04. Corpus volunteers alone packed 1,370 Manna Packs! After hearing that great news, we all headed back into the warehouse to pray over the boxes of food being sent out. Once we had removed our hairnets and said our thanks and goodbyes to the staff, we filed onto our bus again and drove to a park to eat our picnic lunches.
Breaking into small table groups, we discussed what we had learned that day and our favorite parts of volunteering. Every time we volunteer we have the kids decide which Corporal Work of Mercy they were following that day, and the resounding “For I was hungry and you gave me food” came from every group. After a quick activity looking over various articles and comparing how the Church/Bible sees immigrants and how society/our President sees immigrants, we drove over to Grand Slam for a grand ole time.
We went to Grand Slam in Coon Rapids (http://www.grandslamcoonrapids.com/) and once the kids had gotten their wristbands, they ran in every direction to start their afternoon of unlimited fun. Some kids went to Mini Golf, some went to Bumper Cars, some went to Laster Tag, and some grabbed quarters to line up for the Batting Cages. Along with unlimited play time, wristbands also gave us a free hot dog and a 12 oz. fountain drink, which made for the perfect snack when energy was low. Kids and adults had a blast playing the various games, just see the smiles on their faces!
At 3:30 it was time to head back to Corpus so parents could pick up their kids. Once we got back we brought out some chalk while kids waited for their parents; make sure to look at it when you come to mass this weekend!
If you’d like to sign up for Give and Grin, contact Liz Russell at: liz.russell@ccmn