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Volunteers turn experience into dream PDF Print E-mail

By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican

Two Goodland, Kan. residents spent 18 shifts, or 36 total hours each, working at this year’s Feed My Starving Children MobilePack™ in Imperial.
Dusti Chadwick, 23, and Kinsey Volk, 14, filled meal packs, labeled boxes and helped the staff at the pack held at Crossroads Wesleyan Church.
To those volunteering at the pack, the two seemed very knowledgeable. They should be.
Both worked a shift at the Imperial event last year. They had planned to spend two nights in Imperial this year, but extended their visit.
Chadwick has also attended MobilePack™ in McCook, Colorado Springs, and Lamar, Colo.
And the two organized the first ever mobile pack in Kansas, held in Goodland April 5-6 this year.
It all started when Chadwick, who works at the public library in Goodland, read “Heaven is For Real” by Todd Burpo of Imperial.
She attended a speech he made in McCook, during which he showed a video about Feed My Starving Children. Imperial was preparing to launch its own MobilePack™ in 2011.
Chadwick’s family had a tradition in which she chose something special to do for her birthday. “It looked like something I wanted to be part of, so it’s what I chose to do,” she said.
She called Volk, a family friend, to volunteer also. “It was just so amazing,” Chadwick enthused.
Volk, a high school freshman, said she went along because it was Chadwick’s birthday. But she was soon amazed about the good the project accomplishes.
Just three years ago 18,000 children in the world died of starvation every day. “I knew I needed to get my youth group involved,” Volk remembered.
In July 2012 the two, along with a core team of four junior high girls and a high school freshman, began raising money for the Goodland MobilePack™. They had to raise $22,000 minimum to hold a pack. Instead, they raised $27,500, enough to fund 125,000 meals.
A total of 700 volunteers ended up packing 132,000 meals at the Max Jones Fieldhouse in Goodland over a two-day period in April.
The team was overwhelmed by getting organized, Chadwick said, “But God provides. It worked out and we couldn’t have asked for two better days.”
The team provided the location, tables, trash cans, brooms and a fork lift. The Feed My Starving Children organization provided everything else.
The MobilePack™ was nondenominational. Chadwick is Methodist and Volk is Catholic.
Chadwick and Vook are gearing up for Goodland’s next MobilePack™, in 2015.
“We want to double the meals to fill a container,” Chadwick stated. They have to raise almost $60,000 to fund 272,000 meals.
They’ve already started raising money, with plans for a chili cookoff and fair events, to go with some additional money raised for the April pack.
Why have the two, who say they are like sisters, devoted so much time and energy to Feed My Starving Children?
Volk said, “It’s literally being God’s hands and feet.  You can feel that.” She also pointed out that the organization has made sure that 99.997 percent of the meals packed over the last 20 years has directly reached the children they are meant to feed. Only two shipments have been lost, she added.
Chadwick added that 92 cents of each dollar donated goes to the food. “It’s hard to find an organization like that.”
She said Feed My Starving Children has “totally changed my life. We take so much for granted in the U.S.”
And the effort is working. The two pointed out that as of this year the number of children dying of starvation each day has dropped to 6,200.
That’s good, but it’s still not enough.