Friday, August 04, 2006

Wow! Together we can end hunger.

Hunger is a big word, seemingly larger than all our efforts to combat it. But the funds raised in various ways by NYC participants to turn hunger around is huge--exceeding even the wildest expectations of the coordinators. NYC 2006 has demonstrated in a very real way that youth are intentional about the church’s work to end hunger and poverty.

Responding to the theme, "Come and See," more than 1,100 people took part in a REGNUH 5K Walk/Run to "turn hunger around." Sponsorships of participants, coupled with a special offering, has now raised a total of $90,904.63.

The total adds $3,825.67 received since NYC ended, to the previous total of $87,078.96 announced on the last day of the conference. It includes $29,410.08 in REGNUH sponsorships and $61,494.55 received in the offering and through tithes of NYC registration fees from more than 30 congregations. The funds will be distributed through the Global Food Crisis Fund of the Church of the Brethren General Board.

"WOW!" said Howard Royer, manager of the Global Food Crisis Fund. "What signals NYC has sent to the church and the world! The first is to offer what Brethren and the Bible have championed--that God calls us to be with the poor and the hungry. The second is that no longer are the most vulnerable to be the most expendable; together we can put an end to extreme hunger."

Daniel Neidlinger of Indiana was the first runner to cross the REHNUH finish line, with a time of 19 minutes, 28 seconds. Dustin Adams of Maryland came in second.

Neidlinger’s whole youth group of nine, including advisors, either ran or walked. "They all wanted me to run to win it!" said Neidlinger, who does cross country and track in high school. His church helped the youth raise several hundred dollars for the Global Food Crisis Fund, and was still collecting a special offering in worship the morning of the REGNUH walk/run.

One of the top individual fundraisers for REGNUH is Dianne Hollinger, a youth advisor from York (Pa.) First Church of the Brethren, who raised $4,422. She originally challenged her congregation to help her raise $2,000, saying she would run 10 percent of the course for every 10 percent of the money raised. The congregation raised more than twice that amount, so she ran the whole five kilometers. When Hollinger collapsed at the finish line, friends from her congregation were there to help her back to her feet.

Heather Simmons of Ohio walked the course. She said it was the experience that mattered--especially at one of the learning stations along the route when she carried buckets with 20 pounds of water to simulate what women in many countries do every day. She said, "I can’t imagine how they do it all the time."

Source: 8/4/2006 Newsline Special Report

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