If your heart has been stirred by this topic of hunger than I hope that the ideas on how to help the hunger (both locally and internationally) mentioned below will help motivate your family into action. I realize this list is limited so I would encourage and ask you to leave a comment if you know of other great resources or opportunities.
Ideas for those who live locally in Northern Idaho or Eastern Washington:
-Donate items needed for Spokane’s Union Gospel Mission. Top pantry needs include:
-Additional food, toiletries, cold weather needs, etc. are found on this page: http://www.ugmspokane.org/get-involved/top-needs/
-The Union Gospel Mission is also in need of donated turkeys. Turkeys can be dropped of at the UGM’s location at 1224 E Trent Ave.
-Participate in helping to create care packages for the Union Gospel Mission Thanksgiving guests. Full details are found here: http://www.ugmspokane.org/get-involved/thanksgiving-2011/
-On the evening of November 20th there will be a community dinner for those in need served in Athol, Idaho. If you are interested in helping to set up, serve or take down after the event, leave a comment below and I will be in touch with you.
Ideas for families (no matter where they live):
-“Eat so they can”: Invite friends and/or family over for a potluck. Inform the guests of the purpose of the feed (to raise money for hunger) and where your family will be donating the money. Allow guests to make a donation for their dinner. Visit this website to see a video for more ideas on how this can work: http://riseharrisonburg.com/eat
-“Shop for the staving”: Start a new shopping routine. Each time you go shopping for your family, make a habit of purchasing items for a local food bank or shelter. Consider how many items make the most sense for your family (perhaps one item per family member). If your children are shopping with you, consider letting them choose their item.
-“Famine fast”: Calculate how much your family spends on average per meal. Choose a span of time (1 day, 3 days, etc.) that your family will simplify your meals (for example rice based only). Use this time to embrace the opportunity to appreciate the United States’ abundance and variety of food. Donate the money saved to your family’s chosen charity. If you are unsure of your average meal cost, you might find the PDF here helpful: http://www.cnpp.usda.gov./Publications/FoodPlans/2011/CostofFoodSep2011.pdf it outlines the US Average “food at home” weekly and monthly costs at four levels.
-Invite someone outside your family to join you for your Thanksgiving meal. It could be a neighbor, a widow, a family who has recently moved to your area/school/church . . .
-If you are looking to dig deeper into putting God’s Word into action, you might enjoy visiting the website: http://seegodswordinaction.com/index.php to sign up for their weekly Bible verse and challenge email. They also have an area on their site where you can read stories about what other families are doing and even submit your own!
I pray that this topic has stirred your heart. I would love for you to comment and share if your family plans to take action on any of the things mentioned in todays or yesterday’s heart response post.
Next month I plan to embrace the topic of materialism along with the differences between “wants” and “needs” and how we can address it with our children. I hope you will plan to join in!