Difference Maker

Published 9:47 am Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Judd Moller raised more than $300 for Feed My Starving Children last month by asking his friends to bring donations instead of presents to his birthday party. --Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Eight-year-old Judd Moller knows what difference one person can make.

After hearing in September about a local effort to raise $22,000 to send meals through Feed My Starving Children, Judd decided he could help.

With his birthday a few weeks later, the Lakeview Elementary School student asked his friends to bring donations to his birthday party instead of presents.

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“I thought I should get donations instead of presents because people need food more than I need presents,” said Judd, the son of Matt and Angela Moller, who live southeast of Albert Lea.

He came up with the idea after his older sister, Maggie, had foregone presents at her party for donations for the Freeborn County Humane Society.

Judd Moller hangs from a rope swing. --Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune

Judd moved forward with the notion and received positive feedback from his friends and their families.

“Everybody thought that was a really neat idea,” Angela said.

In all, 16 children attended his party Oct. 13, which was held in the barn adjacent to the family’s home. He collected $303, or enough to provide meals to about 1,000 people.

“I was happy,” the 8-year-old said.

A few weeks later, Judd met with Albert Lea High School student Jacob Jensen, who is heading up the collection effort with seven other students.

Judd turned in the donations and had his picture taken with Jensen.

“I was shocked,” Jensen said. “We’re just really thankful for what Judd did and excited, too.”

Angela said Jensen told her son he was an inspiration to others.

“It makes us really, really proud,” Angela said. “We feel our most important job as parents is to raise our kids to be good people, and when we see things like this, it makes us feel like they’re on the right track.”

The mother said she hopes Judd and Jensen’s efforts motivate others to give.

“If everybody gave just a little of what they have,” she said.

The family and some of their friends plan to attend the meal-packing event Dec. 1 at Albert Lea’s National Guard Armory.

Jensen said as of Friday about $11,000 had been raised, which is half of the $22,000 needed to send 100,000 meals. Each meal costs 22 cents.

Students are also asking businesses and community members to contribute.

Feed My Starving Children will bring the food and packaging materials to the packing event, and local residents will supply the funds and volunteers to package the meals.

Jensen said about 100 more volunteers are still needed for packing.

People interested in donating or volunteering for the meal-packing event can email organizers at AlbertLeaFMSCMobilePack@gmail.com or visit www.fundraising.fmsc.org/AlbertLea.

Students will also be out collecting funds at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Main Street on Black Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Since Feed My Starving Children was founded in 1987, it has sent more than 133 million meals to more than 70 countries.


Judd Moller
Age: 8
Address: 80679 160th St., Glenville
Livelihood: second-grader at Lakeview Elementary School
Family: father and mother, Matt and Angela Moller; sisters, Maggie, 10, Greta, 4 and Cleo, 2
Interesting fact: Judd has been playing the guitar for about a year.