November 29, 2016 Opinion

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Lauren Patrick is a native Southerner and the editor of Pretty Southern.com. She’s a member of the Atlanta Blogger Network and Atlanta Food Blogger Society. #LovetheSouth #GoDawgs Follow Lauren on Twitter

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” – Phillippians 2:13

Today marks my sixth anniversary of becoming a blogger. This Pretty Southern life has taken interesting turns over the past few years since we launched this blog. For example, if you’d asked me in 2011, I never thought I’d be on the Atlanta Committee for Feed My Starving Children. Here’s a quick story.

In 2011, I had been laid off from my prior gig. My husband had left his job to start Exomotive. It was a scary time with both of us in this new territory. Thankfully, I found a full-time gig at RaceTrac convenience stores. It was there where I met Andy Carr.

At RaceTrac, I managed the “Services” category which included newspapers, magazines, the lottery, things like that, and one of the categories was Air/Vac. Our pal Andy was my vendor, and together we rolled out Air/Vac machines with a credit card reader (of all things!)

One day we were riding back from a store to see one of these fancy new machines, and Andy started telling me about his mission work with Feed My Starving Children – an incredible organization that helps to feed millions of children and families in more than 70 third-world countries.

feed-my-starving-children-hope-filled-holiday

Let’s fast forward to present day. I’ve made the switch to the startup world, running Pretty Southern, and blessedly have developed a network of fine folks like yourselves reading this blog. Through LinkedIn, I saw Andy Carr had become VP of Development and Marketing for Feed My Starving Children.

Andy reached out to me and said FMSC was planning a big Mobile Pack in Atlanta. The charity produced 270 million meals in the prior year (which would feed more than one million kids!) through these packing events where hundreds and thousands of volunteers prepared MannaPack™ meals specifically designed for malnourished children.

FMSC partners distribute to a network of 200 partners, charities, NGOs, and non-profit organizations to ship these meals around the world. Each MannaPack™ costs roughly $0.22 to prepare, which means a donation of $22 would create 100 meals.

The MannaPack™ meals include a mixture of 20 vitamins and minerals added to rice, soy protein, and dehydrated vegetables so a child, who may not have eaten in days, can actually digest the good. FMSC was looking to grow even more by hosting a million-meal packing event in Atlanta. Here’s more about the Mobile Pack events.

Here’s where you come in to help Feed My Starving Children

FMSC will host Atlanta’s first-ever Hope Filled Holiday event with the goal of hand-packing one million meals for malnourished children. Hope Filled Holiday will take place on Dec. 10-11 at the Cobb Galleria and hopes to see 5,000 volunteers attend the event. Today, we’re at 4,100 and are so close!

“One of my favorite things about Feed My Starving Children is that everyone over the age of 5 is welcomed to participate, special needs individuals and seniors have a place here too. Families, schools, businesses and churches are all welcome at FMSC,” said Lisa Stueckemann, Development Advisor for FMSC’s MobilePack events. “The reality is that 6,200 children die every day from hunger-related illnesses. We need everyone to pitch in and help.”

Here’s the story of one little boy named Moses

“The Hope Filled Holiday event at the Cobb Galleria is the perfect place to make a huge difference in just two hours,” Stueckemann explained. “No advanced training is needed, just a desire to make a difference.”

Here’s what you do next

Hope Filled Holiday takes place on Dec. 10 and 11, Saturday and Sunday, at the Cobb Galleria. Volunteers can sign up for shifts (lasting about two hours long) here.

For the Pretty Southern squad, we have reserved a time from 2 – 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11 so we can pack together as a P.S. family. All you have to do is leave a comment below and we’ll get you signed up. If you can’t make the event, you can donate here.

Because of the meals we pack in Atlanta, Feed My Starving Children will be able to meet all the existing commitments of food, plus help us meet the extra demand in Caribbean countries like Haiti. There is still a massive need for food and resources due to the devastation from Hurricane Matthew.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” – 1 Peter 4:10

Are you in for Hope Filled Holiday? Let me know in the comments section below!

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