I have worked for almost 14 years at Share Our Strength, the organization behind No Kid Hungry and have been a monthly donor for almost nine years. Why do I give to the organization where I work?
Right now, so many children across the country are going hungry. And It makes me feel good knowing that my monthly gift helps kids get the food they need to focus in school and thrive. The smiles on their faces when they get a healthy meal fill my heart.
Our work supports hundreds of everyday heroes who are there in the frontlines facing constant challenges, but always showing up to feed kids in their communities. The challenges they face amid the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have reinforced my commitment to this mission.
I see it when, unable to hide his joy, a cafeteria manager hugs a box of meal trays. Amid shortages of basic equipment, this box becomes a beacon of light in a dark time. It means more full bellies and kids thriving.
I also see it in my colleagues. I am surrounded by kind, smart and committed people who are passionate about our mission. From my colleagues working on the field with school heroes to those engaging elected officials in the interest of children and the support staff keeping the lights on, everybody in the organization knows the importance of our mission.
My passion for this work started with my family. My mom was a social worker and my dad a teacher. I spent my childhood in Hawaii, a place that I loved, but that’s different from what most tourists experience.
My mom opened my eyes to the challenges faced by members of our community. In her work with people experiencing substance abuse, she made a point of showing me that many families and kids were struggling to cover their most basic needs.
I witnessed similar challenges at school. Some of my peers stigmatized the kids who qualified for free lunch or ate breakfast at the cafeteria. Today, I’m glad to be able to use these experiences and the values of service that my parents inspired in me to work for kids with hunger.
Throughout my 14 years working here, I have seen our impact in things big and small. Whether it’s creating some major policy change or simply providing umbrellas to protect staff distributing meals in the New Mexico heat, we always think of ensuring kids have the meals they need to thrive.
I encourage anyone thinking about becoming a monthly donor to No Kid Hungry to do it. It feels great to be a part of our organization, to be able to hear these stories and see these pictures, and to know that you helped make that possible. Become a monthly donor today.