In anticipation of the 4th Annual Pioneers of Peace™ Thanks”Giving” Cup Campaign, I have been studying and reflecting on hunger both globally and locally. Feelings about this crisis run very deep in me.
As a young child I first became aquatinted with hunger through Trick or Treat for Unicef. How fun it was to dress up for Halloween and go trick or treating armed with a little orange milk carton; filling it up along the way with coins destined to feed hungry children. Simply being educated about hunger at a very young age and taught that I could make a difference was not only empowering, but created in me what Volli Carucci calls “A disease of the soul.”
Looking into the eyes of someone dying of hunger becomes a disease of the soul. You see that nobody should have to die of hunger. Volli Carucci
I definitely have a disease of the soul, but it is one that I cherish.
A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences and therefore knowledge that we could not possibly achieve in any other way.
A couple of weeks ago over a period of just a couple of days I had three distinct experiences; the first of which was very sad.
It was a Saturday afternoon and I was waiting in line at Costco. The woman in front of me toting three children and a very full shopping cart was approaching the end of the cashier ringing up her items. While holding one child on her hip she swiped her card to pay. “I’m sorry, said the cashier, you’re card was declined.” The mom then went through the process of pulling every card she had in her wallet; giving each a try. “Declined, declined, declined, said the cashier awkwardly. My heart was breaking as I watched this terrible scene unfold. A strong urge to pay for the groceries overwhelmed me, but the bill was over $200.00. I watched the mom gather her children, leave the cart and walk away.
Minutes later I was in the parking lot loading my groceries into the trunk. Another child was bouncing up and down holding a quarter in her hand. “Look, she said with glee, it’s my lucky day! I found a quarter.” My thoughts traveled to Africa, North Korea, Cambodia, and Guatemala where a quarter really does make a child’s day, because a quarter generously donated is what provides the only meal he or she will receive that day.
Fast forward a couple of more days when Richard and I were having lunch at Panera’s in Fort Collins, Colorado. I was sitting alone in our booth while Rich was standing in line waiting for our order. I scanned the restaurant watching families, friends, and co-workers happily eating their heavily laden plates. Can they really eat that much I wondered. Then my eyes rested on a nicely dressed woman sitting in a booth by herself. My first thought was, I love her hair… I wonder if I could do that, but then I noticed her pastry, latte, and newspaper. She was working a crossword puzzle. What a delightful morning she must be having, but then my diseased soul reminded me of the one red cup of food children stand in line for at the designated time optimizing sustained blood sugar levels.
The forgotten world is made up primarily of the developing nations, where most of the people, comprising more than fifty percent of the total world population, live in poverty, with hunger as a constant companion and fear of famine a continual menace. Norman Borlaug
Gandhi taught us that for there to be real peace, we must start with children.
Heather Butters understood that principle but had it confirmed a couple of weeks ago when as a neighborhood scout master, she organized a pack meeting that combined fun with caring for the hungry.
The children dressed in their Halloween costumes were like a little army canvasing the neighborhood. Door to door they went collecting food donations, having fun while making a difference in their community. Together they collected 383 lbs of food. Afterwards they gathered together for pictures which I wish I could show you. Allow your mind’s eye to see 20-30 proud Halloween garbed kiddos with gigantic smiles on their faces. It was a night they will never forget, but better yet, now they know they can make the world a better place.
November 1st kicks off the 4th Annual Pioneers of Peace Thanks”Giving” Cup Campaign
This Thanksgiving season we invite you and the children in your life to pause and reflect on the abundance we enjoy and join us in doing our part to feed the world’s hungriest children.
Select a cup (symbolic of the iconic WFP red cup) in which to collect all your spare change, from now until Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving Day we ask that you count your cupful of coins and donate that amount directly to the World Food Program USA, following the link provided on the Pioneers of Peace™ website.
This small effort on your part will have a huge impact on children who would otherwise remain hungry and malnourished. Just 25 cents feeds a child in school for a day.
For more detail click on the Thanks”Giving” Cup link on the Pioneers of Peace website.
May this beautiful fall season fill you with wonder and gratitude and if you must catch an illness, may it be a “Disease of the Soul.”
Sending love your way,