By Abby Gibbs
While many are finishing the last touches of taking down Holiday decorations and storing them away for 2017 the Mauldin Rotary Club has jumped into the new year of 2018 full steam ahead!
Each year in January, the club begins service projects with a day for the community to unite and work together to pack dry meal packets for the hungry around the world. This project was formerly entitled Stop Hunger Now. However, for 2018 the title for the organization coordinating the project has been changed to Rise Against Hunger. The goal for Rise Again Hunger is to end hunger by the year 2030. 815 Million people across the world do not receive enough nutrition to lead an active, healthy life. During 2016, 376,000 volunteers helped pack meals for the hungry and ONE MILLION meals were provided during 2016.
The setting for assembling the meals was graciously shared by Messiah Lutheran Church of Mauldin on Saturday, January 13, 2018. The gymnasium was set with tables to start the assembly line of packing, weighing products, etc. as volunteers began to arrive and register to help.
Norman Bunn is the Community Projects Coordinator for the Mauldin Rotary Club for 2018. He set all the wheels in motion to get pre-registration and checking in on Saturday handled with ease. Assignments were made and hair-net coverings and plastic gloves distributed to all volunteers as they took their places to begin the assimilation of the products into the packets.
Volunteers arrived from all around the community of Mauldin. They included, the Mauldin Rotary Club Members, Messiah Lutheran Church volunteers, the High School Interact Clubs of Rotary from Mauldin High School and Southside High School with their Beta Clubs, Mauldin Police and Fire Department employees, staff from the City of Mauldin and the Mauldin Cultural Center, volunteers from the Ray Hopkins Center for Senior Adults and the Mauldin Sports Center. Churches brought volunteers from their Youth and Childrens Groups and all ages in-between from throughout the City who also took the time on Saturday to come out and participate. These included those from FBC Mauldin, Destiny Church, Freedom Church, Take Heart Church, Brookwood Church, Mauldin United Methodist Church, Messiah Lutheran Church, and Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. The total for volunteers and Rotarians ranged from 80 to 100 people!
The time to weight the dry goods and put them into packages to reach the goal of 20,000 meals was accomplished in approximately 2 hours from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. And the goal of 20,000 meals was not only met, but EXCEEDED by another 3,000 meals! The Mauldin Rotary Club is proud to report a total of approximately 23,000 meals.
These meals will be sent to a country determined by the Rise Against Hunger organization for immediate needs in Haiti or other countries with immediate needs.
Rotary President, Jim Mitchell was interviewed wearing his hair net on TV 7 and Fox News as he shared his enthusiasm about the participation and the goal exceeded for packing the meals.
Truly, it is a great day in Mauldin when you see the Community come together for a cause that we see year after year is a huge benefit to families to get children fed so they can go to school and their bodies and minds are more ready to learn when they have nourishment from these dry packaged meals.
For more information about Mauldin Rotary Club Meetings and participating in projects go to the Mauldin Rotary Club website or the Facebook page. Meetings are Tuesday each week at 12 noon at the Mauldin Cultural Center.