Youth Fed Up with Hunger to Fast 30 Hours

( [email protected] ) Feb 24, 2004 01:01 PM EST

GREEN BAY, WI.--Youth groups of Faith Lutheran Church and Pilgrim Lutheran Church will do good while going without food for 30 hours, as part of a nationwide fund-raising event for World Vision. On March 5, the event, “Famine Friday”, will not only raise money for world hunger but also raise people’s awareness of the problem.

“I think they (people) forget there are people out there who don’t have good food or a roof over their heads,” said Cherie Theis, director of youth ministries at Pilgrim Lutheran Church.

“I really didn’t think about it before,” said Nyasha Bagley, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Pilgrim Lutheran School, who participated in last year’s Famine Friday where participants were encouraged to wear orange-colored apparel by World Vision to show their support. “Now I realize that it’s a big problem.”

World Vision — a Christian relief and development organization that tackles the “root causes of poverty,” including hunger — is the sponsor Famine Friday as a nationwide educational event.

Theis said 120 teens already want to participate.

Starting off with a service on Friday, teens will then commence their 30-hour fast, which only allows the youths to drink juice and other liquids to prevent dehydration.

Bagley says the time period the youth will endure without any food will help the participants have empathy for the hungry people around the world.

“I thought going without food for a few hours would be hard,” said Bagley. However, “it forces you to understand what people go through.”

After the service, participants will then go skateboarding and take part in a talent show and dance, and will proceed on toward community service projects through The Volunteer Center of Brown County.

Everyone in the community is encouraged to participate even through pledges. According to Theis, the youth ask pledges from church members, parents and family friends in support of their efforts to battle world hunger.

At the end of the 30 hours, participants will share a grateful meal together.

Last year’s run of the event raised nearly $3,000, which was used by World Vision to help with food, education, health care and vocational training for children’s benefit in the more than 100 countries where the Christian organization operates. A culmative total of $7.7 million was raised last year by teens in the United States, reported World Vision officials.

Theis said what little they can and have done does make a difference.

“This is a way we can give them a glimpse of what they go through. What we’ve raised isn’t a lot money but it makes a dent.”