I had originally intended to put regular installments of 101 Ways to Help the Hungry. But, like some many other good intentions, that hasn’t happened.
When I first began posting to the blog I was concerned I might not have enough “new and original” material to keep a blog active. 101 Ways to Help the Hungry was my insurance policy to help fill any gaps if I ran out of material. Well, nearly two years later, I know that my real difficulty is not a lack of material but far too much good material for which I do not have room or time with which to properly post.
Now, I realize that I need to work to make sure I keep up with 101 Ways to Help the Hungry. That means that I will post one every couple of weeks or every month. This month’s way to help the hungry takes some organization and some teamwork.
All of us enjoy the many church dinners and other organizational meals in which we take part. Some are far better than others, for sure, but every church dinner we attend is yet another great opportunity to help make a difference in a hungry and hurting world.
Number 5 in the 101 ways to help the hungry is to arrange for all the leftovers to be taken to local soup kitchens and homeless shelters instead of being carted back home.
Not only will the recipients get a nourishing meal, they will get something else, a meal that has already been blessed with love and fellowship, and a meal that is truly “home cooked.”
An added blessing for you would be to help serve the meals and visit with those enjoying the meal. Conversations around the table with those needing help can often be life-changing for all involved.
I have listed and discussed three small but meaningful ways to help the hungry in previous posts. This will be number four.
The first three ways I listed to help the hungry are:
1. Collect pennies for the hungry
2. Start a resource library on hunger
3. Contribute to UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Education Fund)
Another simple project to help the hungry is to collect used books. Canvas your family and friends for books. Everyone has books they no longer want. You will be doing them a favor by taking the books off their hands. Be sure you tell them you want the books to use for helping the hungry.
Once you have collected a good stack of books, set up a sale rack in your church, synagogue, temple or mosque. Use the profits from the used book sales rack for hunger projects.
Everyone loves a bargin, and with the price of books getting more expensive all the time, used books are a good deal. Selling used books is an easy way to provide a useful service while making a difference on behalf of the hungry.
If you make sure that the congregation knows the proceeds from the used book sales are all going to help the hungry you will not only have numerous opportunities to talk about why you care about the needs of the hungry, you will also find out that there wll be many others who are will donate used books or help in other ways.
A small basket or other container for loose change or other donations will encourage all those passing the used book rack to donate to your hunger projects, even if they do not want to buy any books.
All of us can make a difference on behalf of the hungry. Every step we take brings us one step closer to the day hunger is eradicated from the planet.
When we do even a little on behalf of the hungry we become part of a movement that is working to free over 850,000,000 of our brothers and sisters from the unnecessary scourge of hunger and malnourishment.
There are 101 ways to help. One small way to help the hungry is to:
3. Contribute to UNICEF.
All of us can make a difference on behalf of the hungry. Every one of us can help. And when each of us does even a little to help, it adds up to far more than we can imagine.
In an earlier post (“101 Ways to help the hungry” 2/21/08) I discussed how even collecting pennies could add up to a significant contribution for helping feed the hungry. It’s a theme that is worth repeating. We can change the world by taking small actions right where we are.
After a presentation at a university I was once asked if I really thought one person could make a difference. The student pointed out that the problem of hunger was too immense for a single student to impact.
My response was to answer his question with one of my own. “Have you ever tried to sleep when there was a single mosquito present?”
Everyone laughed, but the underlying point was clear. It is not the size of our efforts that matters. It is the persistence with which we tackle the issue. Hunger can be eliminated. We just need to make sure we continue to do all we can to make a difference.
Collecting pennies is one of a 101 ways to help the hungry. A second idea follows.
- Collect pennies for the hungry
- Start a library of books & articles about hunger and poverty
Starting a collection of books, articles and other resources on hunger is not only a wonderful way to keep yourself educated and up to date on the issue, but also provides a great resource for others. Such a hunger resource center allows you to help spread the word to family, friends and members of your religious group or social clubs.
Starting a library of hunger resources allows you to actively share your concern for the poor and hungry with those around you. You then become a leader in the fight to end hunger.
Making a difference on behalf of the hungry is not difficult. Every one of us has the skills and abilities to help save hundreds and even thousands of lives threatened by hunger. And every one of us has the time to help, as well.
Only one question needs to be asked. Do we really want to help? If the answer is yes, there are literally hundreds of ways to be a part of the solution to world hunger.
I have compiled a simple list of 101 ways to get involved. There are probably 1001 ways.
The idea is to use the list as an easy way to to get started in helping. Use it as a springboard for brainstorming. Come up with more and better ideas. And please share them with me when you do.
From time to time I will share some of the 101 ways to help the hungry. They are not original, are in no particular order and are not prioritized. They are simply suggestions that can help save lives.
1. Collect pennies for the hungry.
One of the most wonderful men I ever knew was Ray Wahl of Federick, MD. He started collecting pennied for the hungry. Before his death he had raised over $20,000 to help feed hungry children. He also educated hundreds of family, friends and neighbors as he asked them to help him in his quest.
Do you have any pennies? Put twenty of them together and you can feed a hungry child a hot nutritious meal which will encourage her to come to school.