We told our mother "We aren't hungry." as if we were ashamed to have for dinner the only food we had."
"I am the face of hunger." These were the opening words by Keynote Speaker Jamie Bennett at the United Way Campaign Kick-Off breakfast, where she shared how as a child, after her father passed away, she knew times were getting harder for her mother and their family. There was no milk with dinner, after-school snacks were not there every day and her lunch was getting smaller as the weeks progressed.
She recounts the story of how one night the table was set as if for any other weeknight dinner but the only thing on the table was a pot of white beans.
"With worry in my mother's voice she asked the children to sit, saying there was enough for two scoops for each of us." As the older children left the table, Jamie recalls, "My brother and I remained, telling her 'We aren't hungry,' as if we were ashamed to have for dinner the only food we had."
You can watch Jamie tell her touching story "I Am the Face of Hunger." online at http://youtube/_OkrVXKKAQs
Roll forward to the fall of 2013... It's that time of year, when so many are spreading cheer while many of our neighbors have none - no grand tree, no presents underneath, no holiday dinner on the table, no dinner on the table at all.
Hundreds of people in our community face hunger every day. While most of us ask "What's for dinner tonight?" we have children in our own neighborhoods asking "Is there dinner tonight?"
On the second annual #GivingTuesday, this year on December 3rd, United Way of Deschutes County is asking you to help fight hunger in our community.
#GivingTuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday giving season on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
#GivingTuesday celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, United Way is encouraging the giving community to come together for #GivingTuesday.
There are a myriad of ways you, your family or your business can help others this #GivingTuesday and fight hunger in our community: donate food, start a food drive at your place of business, volunteer at the food bank, help prepare hot nutritious meals for the homeless or housebound, conduct a workplace giving campaign, or give online.
We invite you to be a part of the celebration of giving! Don't forget to Tweet, post comments or "UNselfies" on Facebook, and talk about it using the hashtag #GivingTuesday and @liveunitedco.
In support of #GivingTuesday, all donations made on the United Way of Deschutes County website on Tuesday, December 3rd will go to help support Basic Needs through our food related partner programs.
If you or a family you know is struggling with hunger please call 2-1-1 for information on how to obtain emergency food boxes in Central Oregon.
Give Today. Change Tomorrow.
To learn more about United Way or to give online, visit the organization's website at www.liveunitedco.org.