This Thanksgiving season, Center Church along with the students and teachers and many parents of Quail Valley Elementary School packaged 20,000 meals that will feed up to 100,000 kids in Malawi, Africa.
When I met with principal Lilly Pena about how the church could come along side the school community of Quail Valley Elementary, one of the things Principal Pena mentioned was doing some sort of canned food drive during the holiday season.
But we also wanted to give the kids a hands on experience with a worldwide perspective. So, we partnered with Children of the Nations, a non-profit organization that provides holistic care to orphaned and destitute children around the world. The day would consist of packaging meals for these children in Africa with an assembly-line of students from Quail Valley Elementary.
Every half-hour the students rotated into the all-purpose room in groups of 100. There were approximately ten stations with eight to ten students each. Each student was responsible for filling a bag with a particular food item and then two students at the end of the line would seal the bags. The shifts of students filled the bags from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. when the goal of 20,000 bags was reached.
One of the students said to Dinika, my wife, "This is a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be.” Another child said to me, “This is better than math class.” There’s already discussion of making this an annual event between the church and the school.
Working side-by-side with the staff of Quail Valley Elementary School made one thing really clear — the teachers there really care about their students.
The volunteers from Center Church included Paul and Juanita Robles, Robert and Jack Grey, Patsy Boruff, and Dinika Sides.
We wanted to bless the school community where we happen to meet. And we were all happy with the outcome. It’s always a good reminder during the holidays to be reminded about how much we have to be thankful for.
Below are some photos that Juanita Robles and Dinika took of the day.
That's Paul Robles supervising a table.
Patsy Boruff is measuring a bag to make sure it's between 390 and 395 grams.
Paul's sealing a bag that's been filled with all four ingredients: rice blend, soy mix, freeze dried veggies and a seasoning packet.
Here's a view of the assembly lines. There were twelve stations of approximately eight kids per table.
Dinika enjoying her time with the students.
The kids weighing and sealing bags.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO GAVE AND MADE THIS EVENT POSSIBLE!