Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - How a Dime Makes a Difference with a FEED 100 Bag

I arrived home last night to my ordinary neighborhood after a mostly ordinary day at the office. I walked down a few blocks to Whole Foods with the intention of picking up dinner and going back to my apartment to watch NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams – one of my favorite weeknight activities. (Nerdy, I know. I can’t help it. I’m addicted to the news, and I love the “Making a Difference” segment.)

After filling up my little basket, I headed to the cash register where the woman who was ringing up my groceries asked if I’d like to buy a FEED 100 Bag, a reusable shopping bag made from 100% organic cotton and sustainable burlap. Hmmm…I had seen these before though wasn’t totally sure what the deal was. They used to be $30. They’re now $10, and wait until you hear what they do!

For $10, you provide 100 hungry children in Rwanda with a nutritious school meal through the UN World Food Program (WFP). A single dime per child. 400,000,000 children go to bed every night hungry. And that pain of hunger is devastating. I know first hand. When I was a kid, we struggled financially and my brother, sister, and I often went to bed hungry, and scared, and feeling alone. We had free and reduced-price lunch for most of my childhood and I can guarantee that this program was one of the huge blessings that saved me. Literally. With that meal, I was able to pay more attention to my studies, which earned me good grades, which helped me to go college and graduate school, which helped me build a good, successful life.

A lot of people look at school statistics like “75% of children at this school receive free lunch” and see it as just that – a statistic. A number on an Excel spreadsheet. When I see these numbers, I see me, and my brother, and my sister, and a lot of people in my hometown who grew up just like us. This tiny contribution of $10 makes a difference, I assure you.

I arrived home from an ordinary day and I had the opportunity to do something extraordinary. A very small act that will make a very big difference. I helped 100 kids around the world have a chance to follow in my same path to happier, healthier days. You can, too. FEED 100 Bags are available at Whole Foods nationwide.

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