Wednesday, September 07, 2011

East Africa Famine Response

Most of you readers have probably heard of the desperate situation in East Africa right now in terms of the famine - the worst drought in 60 years [Justin has a good summary]. Grace Church decided to contribute a small part to the relief efforts by working with Stop Hunger Now to pack meals and help fund the delivery of those meals. In unprecedented fashion, the whole church, from 2-3 year olds all the way up to families, were invited and mobilized to be a part of this project. The project was a major marker in the history of our church.

When I heard about this opportunity, I immediately signed up our Ember interns to be a part of helping out. Our role was to float during the middle and high school packing times to help people out - a 'May I Help You' role. [Like every internship year, this event is a good example of a valuable learning opportunity that pops up that I would have never been able to predict.]

I wanted our interns involved to learn a few things. First, a church like Grace is an anomaly among churches in America. Combine the resources of a megachurch with an effort like this and you experience something highly unique. Secondly, the task of mobilizing every person in our spiritual community is huge. We had over 900 people serving - but that's still not everybody. Finally, pay attention to the backdrop and logistical details of setting up for something like this. If not everything runs well, 900 people show up with nothing to do.

163,080 meals packaged, Stop Hunger Now has a great set up if you and your group is looking to do this same kind of thing. They do 2 or 3 of these kinds of events every week and the set up and logistics is really well done. Rough approximation - for about 200 students doing the meal packing, we were doing about 1000 meals every 10 minutes or so.

More images here, especially if you are interested in how the packing was set up.

No comments:

Post a Comment