My name is John Longworth, and I am the pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church here in Rutland.
I was so excited to see our 10,000 meals challenge event on Jan. 6 featured on the front page of the Jan. 7 Rutland Herald. It was a real joy to see this event come together after months of planning, fundraising and volunteer coordinating to make for a smooth and enjoyable day.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Donna Lutz, our social action coordinator here at Good Shepherd. Her efforts behind the scenes helped carry us to the finish line.
I am deeply grateful to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Choice dollars from their members provided funds to turn our challenge into a record-breaking event.
Lastly, I am profoundly grateful to the dozens of volunteers from all parts of the Rutland community that made the actual event such an exciting and fun-filled afternoon. Every volunteer personally fed 260 people.
I wanted to take the opportunity to provide a final report on the project as well. Donors raised $3,277.50, which allowed us to package a Vermont record 13,110 meals for hungry families.
These meals all stayed in Vermont and were shared with local human services agencies and food shelves, including: the Community Cupboard, the BROC Food Shelf, the Pittsford Food Shelf, the West Rutland Food Shelf, the Boys and Girls Club of Rutland, and the Council on Aging.
I know that the participants who took us over the top are excited about making a substantial impact on hunger in Vermont.
Already, $35 has been donated to begin preparing for a 15,000 meals challenge.
Our sincere hope is that Rutland can work its way on to the map for hunger relief, the same way it surprised New England with the Gift of Life blood challenge. My dream is for Rutland to host a 25,000 meals challenge, which would provide a meal for every
hungry child in the state.
I’d like to invite individuals, community organizations, faith communities and businesses to take part in the next challenge.
Currently we are seeking five members of a planning team to coordinate the 15,000 meals challenge in 2014.
Interested parties can contact me by calling 802-773-9659 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rev. JOHN M. LONGWORTH
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