The season – and gift – of giving

By: By Rebekah Reynolds - Contributing columnist

As the holiday season approaches, most people think about which relative’s house they will travel to in order to spend time with their family. Not much thought goes into “What will we eat?”, “Where will our food come from?”, or even “Will we have any food to eat at all?”

Recently, my youth group helped answer that question for over 30,000 people. Can you imagine having to wait patiently for weeks, even months, not knowing if your next meal would be coming in a package from thousands of miles away, in a box full of more packaged meals for your family and friends? How about wondering if those packages would even come for you or wold they wind up going to another country?

Families are serving their kids what they call “Mud Cookies,” yes, Mud Cookies. The pain of hunger is so terrible that they are serving each other mud with a touch of salt to add enough flavor to be able to bear it.

Stop Hunger Now is a organization that was started in 1998 by Ray Buchanan; that organization is working hard to stop hunger in our lifetime. Striving to provide food and aid for over 71 countries, this team of people have put together 200 million meals since they started. Their goal within the next 15 years is to end extreme poverty for good.

My youth group, also known as FUEL, hosted an event with the help of one of the Stop Hunger team members. Over 100 of us boxed up over 30,000 meals to be sent off to schools and villages all over the world. There were 16 tables with five kids per table, all assigned different jobs; we had positions specifically planned for each person. Some would be working together bagging up meals, others would be sealing and packaging. When one table finished eight packages of meals, the runner would come and pass them to the next table, this person was on their feet during these two hours.

Stop Hunger Now has delivered food, essential aid and disaster relief items such as medicines, medical supplies, medical equipment, clothing and blankets. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, they have sent supplies to 65 countries around the world. People all over the world are hosting these events and making a difference.

If you ask me, this event that my youth group hosted was by far one of the best moments in our lives. Not only did it affect our youth group by creating bonds between each of us, it also showed us that we are blessed.

We need to be more thankful for what God has given us,and the things we take for granted every day — a roof over our heads, food on the table, shoes on our feet, and so much more.

If you would like to find out more about this organization, donate, host an event, or just join in on helping cure world hunger please visit “” I am sure you will not regret it. My hope and prayer is that everyone will help those less fortunate and experience, at least once, that it is truly more blessed to give than to receive.

By Rebekah Reynolds

Contributing columnist

Rebekah Reynolds Reynolds