Famine, garden projects for Moreland UMC youth
by W. Winston Skinner
The youth at Moreland United Methodist Church stay busy.
Two of their recent projects include participation in the World Vision 30-Hour Famine and preparation of garden areas at the church. The church’s youth group spent a recent weekend “learning of the problems faced by children in other areas of the world,” Nancy McLain. “The program emphasis this year was South America.”
Dallas Prince, the church’s youth leader, worked with the group.
“Teens go without food for 30 hours to get a taste of what the world’s poorest children face. Prior to the event, teens raise funds by explaining that $1 can help feed and care for a child a day,”said Gardi Wilks, spokesperson for World Vision. “Teens consume only water and juice as they participate in local community service projects.”
The weekend fund-raising effort at Moreland UMC raised almost $700 for World Vision. World Vision “uses the funds raised to work with the families and communities of the most impoverished, around the world and also in the USA,” McLain said.
The ministry also uses funds to increase educational opportunities and “to provide better knowledge of nutrition and the means to get that better nutrition,” she explained. Helping improve the systems and structures of the communities around children so they have the chance to not only grow, but to grow beyond the poverty and injustice, is also part of World Vision’s goals.
The 30-Hour Famine projects has grown in recent years, fueled in part by teen use of social media to increase participation. “Since 30HF began in 1992, teens have raised more than $150 million to fight global hunger,” Wilks said.
“The United Nations says in 1992, 40,000 children died from hunger and preventable causes. Today it’s 19,000 – still too high but proof that efforts like 30HF are helping,” Wilks said. Girl Scouts of Troop 13, which is sponsored by the church, recently put memorial stones back in place in the front garden-bed at Moreland Methodist. The girls “have inscribed the stones with the names of deceased members of the church,” Emily Wilbert said.
The Scouts’ garden project follows one “done several years ago by another Girl Scout, McKenzie Smith,” according to Wilbert.