Young Harris College Students Help Others During “30 Hour Famine”
Approximately 30 Young Harris College students recently participated in a nationwide “30 Hour Famine” spearheaded by the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision on Feb. 21-22. Organized by YHC’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Inter-Religious Council (IRC), the fast included fun and informative activities along with a service event with Matt’s Ministry located at Ledford’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Hayesville, N.C.
World Vision is dedicated to helping children, families and their communities by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. The goal of their “30 Hour Famine” is to help students gain an understanding of what it’s like to go without food and create bonds while serving others.
“I’ve made it my mission for CAB to be as involved with other organizations around campus as possible,” explained the organization’s Ideas and Issues Committee Chair Lindsey Galt, a senior education major from Marietta. She teamed up with IRC President Laura Grace Tarpley, a senior communication studies major from Little Rock, Ark., to plan the event.
“I knew this would be a powerful experience that addressed issues we normally think of as being outside of our community and country but in actuality surround us every day,” said Galt, who previously participated in the famine as a high school student.
The students’ fast began during lunchtime on Friday, and the group gathered that evening in Myers Student Center. Participants took a quiz titled “What kind of hungry will you be?” that filtered into teambuilding and fellowship activities.
Student leaders showed video clips from World Vision and shared statistics regarding world hunger. They also placed cards around the room with stories about children who are supported by World Vision, including the conditions and struggles faced on a daily basis.
While the “30 Hour Famine” typically focuses on world hunger issues, YHC students witnessed needs within the local community. Tarpley pointed out the value of being exposed to the work of Matt’s Ministry, a local program geared toward children that makes food available to more than 400 people each week at schools, the church’s food pantry and via home delivery.
“I don’t think many people at YHC know about this ministry that tries to supply locals with food and other necessities,” Tarpley said. “The people at Ledford’s Chapel recognized a need of the area and did something about it, and I think those of us aspiring to love others can follow this example.”
On Saturday morning, YHC students helped facilitate the distribution process in the food pantry and accompanied workers on food deliveries to families. They also supplemented these packages with additional canned goods and snacks.
“More than simply raising awareness, events like this one allow students to understand their personal connection with those who suffer in the world, creating a visceral link between our students’ temporary hunger and the pangs for food and system transformation by the world’s hungry and poor,” said Dean of the Chapel and Minister to the College Rev. Dr. Tim Moore.
Now that the “30 Hour Famine” is established at YHC, the groups hope to follow the traditional World Vision model of having participants acquire sponsors for each hour they fast next year.
“We wanted to focus more on raising awareness than money this year,” explained Tarpley. “I hope students were able to focus their energy on experiencing community with one another through this unique experience they shared.”
The group gathered in Myers Student Center for teambuilding and fellowship activities.
Students helped facilitate the distribution process in the food pantry at at Ledford’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Hayesville, N.C., and accompanied workers on food deliveries to families.
After the service event on Saturday morning, the students counted down the end of the famine together by enjoying some fellowship at Galaxy Bowling in Blairsville.