Giving Up and Giving To

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Basin and Towel (a Divinity School student service group), the Chaplain’s Office, and the Office of Student Life & Formation, invite the Divinity community to join this Lent in a discipline of sacrifice and offering, of “giving up” and “giving to” as we participate in Stop Hunger Now, Operation Sharehouse.

Stop Hunger Now, Operation Sharehouse uses volunteers to package food —dehydrated, fortified rice-soy meals especially formulated for the undernourished — and ships it to orphanage and school feeding programs in developing countries.

In its first year of operation, 5,200 volunteers packaged 1.7 million meals. More than half of these meals have been shipped to Haiti, which is receiving extra aid following January’s devastating earthquake, Nicaragua, Belize, and Kenya.  The remaining meals, which have a shelf life of three to five years, are designated for Guatemala, Bolivia, Liberia, Palestine, and India.

The Divinity School Community is invited to participate in this effort in the following ways:

  • Fast at least one meal a week during Lent. If for medical or other reasons you cannot fast, then choose something else to give up.
  • Contribute the money saved to Operation Sharehouse for packaging costs.
  • Help package the food we are shipping. 

Before Feb. 28, the Divinity School needs 60 people to pledge to help package the Operation Sharehouse meals. Packers commit to fast at least one meal a week during Lent, contribute the money saved for packaging costs, and attend the packing event Saturday, March 27, from 9 a.m. to noon at The Divinity School.  Our goal is to raise at least $40 from each packer in money saved from fasting one meal a week, the equivalent of $1 a day for the 40 days of Lent, to cover packaging costs. However, any and all contributions are welcomed.
We also seek at least 40 people who pledge to be supporters. Supporters also commit to fast one meal each week during Lent, donating the savings in an amount equal to $1 per day for the 40 days of Lent.

The Divinity School’s overall goal is to package and send at least 20,000 meals.

To help us focus our Lenten self-examinations before God and remind us of our commitment to others, packers and supporters will receive weekly e-mails throughout Lent, with Scripture lessons and facts about world hunger.

To participate, please register as a packer or supporter in one of the following ways:

Youth group members and children of Duke Divinity students are welcome to pledge and participate. Please note that the deadline for registering is Feb. 28.

Important project dates:
Feb. 17 Ash Wednesday – Lent begins
Feb. 28 Deadline for registering as a packer or supporter
March 22 Packer/supporter financial contributions (checks only) and registration forms due to Cheri Benjamin, Office of Student Life & Formation
March 23 Worship in Goodson Chapel, financial contributions blessed and special offering to supplement packaging costs, 11:25 a.m.
March 27 Worship, 0016 Westbrook, 9:00 a.m; packaging event (00 level hallway, Westbrook Building) from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Packers are asked to bring hairnets or baseball caps.

Learn more about this effort and Stop Hunger Now, which is based in Raleigh, N.C., as well as its additional efforts in Haiti.