Students working to feed starving childrenPublished 10:06am Thursday, August 9, 2012
By Colleen Thompson, staff interm
Leadership demands integrity, responsibility and a willing attitude. And lucky for the Feed My Starving Children, that’s exactly what Jacob Jensen likes.
Jensen is organizing a food packaging day set for Dec. 1 through a nonprofit Christian organization, Feed My Starving Children.
“I have the leadership abilities to do it,” Jensen said.
Jensen is an incoming sophomore at Albert Lea High School. Jensen has been a part of ALHS Student Council since his freshman year. Jensen is also involved in other leadership committees, such as: Youth in Government, speech team and mock trial. Along with planning the school dances, Homecoming and Winterfest, Student Council takes on responsibilities of many school spirit activities.
The food drive idea came to him randomly, after his parents told him he was too young to go on the Royal Servants mission trip he had been wanting to go on.
“God just led me to the Feed My Starving Children website after that,” Jensen said.
He took up the idea with Student Council President Kelli Sanderson, and her approval came instantly. They discussed the idea with the Student Council body at the last meeting of the school year.
“People seemed interested and we’ve moved forward from there,” Jensen said.
The idea was presented to former Athletic Director John Double, and he was on board. But the new athletic director, Chris Chalmers, brought up the point that packing in the high school gym during basketball season wouldn’t be ideal because of a potential mess on the floor.
That may have been an obstacle for some, but Jensen didn’t give up.
From there, a new leadership team took over organizing the food drive. Preston Smith, Tyler Vandenheuvel, Ben Jones, Sanderson, Lindsey Freitag, Riley Schulz, Morgan Haney and Jensen are taking the matter into their own hands.
“Each person is individually gifted,” Jensen said. “Everybody’s talents are being used.”
The team is working on getting the word out through advertising, fliers and letters. Letters were just sent out to local businesses with information about how to donate.
“We’re also going to talk to local churches in September and ask for a free-will offering,” Jensen said.
Their pending packaging location is Crossroads Church. They plan to have two to three shifts available, ranging from late morning to early afternoon, with 250 people per shift. People from the Feed My Starving Children organization will be coming to help, as well. The hope is to package 100,000 meals that day. Each meal will feed four to five people, and it only costs 22 cents to produce one meal. With more than 70 different countries shipped to, the destination of the meals is unknown.
“The main thing right now is fundraising money for the food to package,” Jensen said.
The eight-person leadership team is planning a gala and a pink flamingo yard crash.
“That’s where we put pink flamingo decorations in people’s yards, and they have to pay a certain amount of money for us to take it out or a little more money to put in someone else’s yard,” Jensen said with a laugh. “We’d make sure they were OK with it first, of course.”
People interested in donating money to the cause can go online to www.fundraising.fmsc.org/AlbertLea. By the end of October, registration for individual or group volunteers will be available.