I know it was a rushed dinner the night I stepped out of my comfort zone and walked into the home of a woman I had never met. I know because I was eating quickly in my warm, long winter coat waiting for my ride. All 5 of us were eating take out – a rarity on a weeknight – but a luxury we don’t think twice about being able to afford when it happens.
We got the take out by driving on safe streets in our safe and warm vehicle passing buildings intact and open and thriving. We paid for it with money that sits in excess in our bank account. And we ate it – more than a serving size easily – not really even fully hungry because we’d had snacks in the afternoon and two full meals prior. Even if we weren’t painfully full, we all knew the next meal was coming.
I stepped into this new woman’s home and walked into a wonderful opportunity. You see, Liz had just seen Dr. Omar speak about the great need in Syria and felt called to take action. He spoke about the demand for humanitarian assistance – people with physical and mental wounds, terrified, separated from their families, suffering from malnutrition, the cold, illnesses and violence.
Liz left the presentation feeling overwhelmed and was unsure how she could make an impact. She was physically ill and prayed for an inspiration to propel her forward. As steps fell into place – an encounter with a former neighbor who is the head of QC Kids Against Hunger, some research on the how’s of helping send meals abroad, a group of women who began to assemble ready to help – Liz’s call of “forget yourself and get to work” began to be realized.
A group of moms assembled and pooled gifts to impart change for a group of moms huddled together miles and miles away, just wanting to feed their babies. This project would involve raising money to host a meal packaging event and immediately ship the full crate to a refugee camp in need. By doing this, an entire camp would be fed for one whole month. When Liz talked about next steps, the group rallied to find the straight pieces to outline the overwhelming puzzle. When she gave the staggering monetary figure necessary to bring forth the entire project, none of us hid our trepidation.
At present, our small group has raised $70,000 through donations from the medical community during an event held April 8th at the Putnam Museum and through individual contributions. This money will go towards a QC Kids Against Hunger packaging event to be held June 3rd at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at 4800 Kennedy Drive, East Moline, IL.
We know that many of you are sharing our hurt for our sisters and brothers abroad, but are not sure just how to help. We will offer an opportunity to help. We are also in need of hands to package meals June 3rd. At this time, we are requesting children be 12 years of age or older for efficiency’s sake (we are going to fill an entire 40 foot shipping crate) for shifts from 8:00-4:00, but we’ll be offering a family slot from 4:00-6:00 where children kindergarten and older can work alongside parents packaging food.
If you are interested – or have a team interested – in participating, email [email protected] or visit www.qcrefugeeproject.com for more information . Many hands make light work and this tangible way or pouring love is a heartwarming opportunity. Please join us in helping feed those in desperate need.