FMSC on Flickr
The first time I met Perry Smith, I was blown away. He was overflowing with ideas and energy. He was on a mission.
Perry is a 19-year-old photographer from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He’s also a cancer survivor who sees each day as a chance to love people, smile, dream, and build things that matter. Perry and I talked about a new project he was working on called One Month to Give.
“I fell in love with photography and I decided that maybe I could use my photography to give back,” Perry said.
One Month to Give was founded with the mission to inspire and empower a community to collaboratively give back through photography. Fueled by coffee, Perry met with dozens of photographers to ask if they’d be willing to participate.
“We partner with photographers all over the nation and ask them to donate the proceeds of one session,” Perry said. During the month of October, the photographers would shoot sessions and donate the money to both Feed My Starving Children and Wishes & More.
“I believe giving back is important because it reminds us of why we are here and what our purpose is,” Perry told me. “We were thrilled to partner with FMSC because they embody this purpose and feed the hungry & hopeless.”
October arrived. Photographers from nine states took 22,500 photos at their One Month to Give sessions. Hundreds participated and thousands of hours were spent.
Through One Month to Give, $9,000 was raised for both Feed My Starving Children and Wishes & More. With this money, FMSC will provide 40,910 meals for the hungry.
This story isn’t just about Perry.
In the months leading up to the launch, I met photographers and team members who were participating in One Month to Give. They all had a passion for giving back and using photography as a tool for something bigger. The mission of one person turned into a community effort. Whether it’s starting a nonprofit to give back through photography or even packing FMSC meals as a team, we are powerful together.
Helen Keller says it nicely: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Visit www.onemonthtogive.org for more info about sessions or joining One Month to Give in the future.
On Friday night, over 1400 people attended FMSC’s 2014 Minnesota Gala. The evening was filled with celebrating the year’s accomplishments, dreaming about the future, and hearing stories of impact.
Our featured speaker was Zee, a 21-year-old from Swaziland who grew up eating FMSC meals and now serves her community (See her story HERE). Her story shows the enormous power of one life changed.
Another highlight of the evening was the surprising auction item sold by two young boys. Noah & Connor raised $149 at their treat stand this past summer. On Gala night, they auctioned off two bags of cotton candy for $3,000! Everyone can make a difference.
Mark Crea, Executive Director/CEO of FMSC, gave the final words for the evening. “Each of these children has unbelievable potential. Tonight I ask you to step out together in faith,” said Mark. “Help us feed a child. Just another one.”
The 2014 Minnesota Gala raised a total of $901,535, which will help FMSC feed thousands and thousands of kids. We’re so overwhelmed by your generosity and love. Thank you to everyone who gave and attended our Gala!
Please visit fmsc.org/14mngala to see a list of our Gala sponsors.
Happy Give to the Max Day!
This year, millions of meals are needed due to the Ebola Crisis in West Africa. Donations from Give to the Max Day will help FMSC provide more meals to families in need.
Your DOLLARS will be DOUBLED by a generous matching gift of $115,000!
To make a donation to FMSC, click here ► www.givemn.org/organization/fmsc
FMSC shipped over 24 million meals in October. We’re sending millions of meals to Liberia and Sierra Leone in response to the Ebola crisis. Please volunteer with FMSC this fall and winter to help us continue meeting the need of our partners around the world: www.fmsc.org/volunteer
A new picture of FMSC meals arriving in Honduras through Helping Honduras Kids:
More stories from FMSC:
- “UPDATE: What You Need to Know About FMSC and The Ebola Crisis”
- A success story from Zimbabwe: “Reuniting a Family”
- Help Needed at Special Packing Sessions: “Pack Meals This Holiday Season”
Feed My Starving Children is dedicated to standing with our partners in West Africa through the hard times ahead. We have many phenomenal, dedicated partners in this region and have worked closely with them throughout the past 10 years in response to their food-aid needs.
The Ebola crisis is a tragedy, but the true devastation is only beginning to show. It is currently planting season in West Africa. Due to the number of people affected by Ebola and the extensive fear and lack of education about how the disease spreads, people aren’t working. Crops are not being planted. Farmers don’t have the workforce necessary to plant a majority of their fields, or they are simply not planting at all.
Without crops to harvest, food will soon become scarce in West Africa. FMSC estimates greatly increased demand from our partners in this region throughout the next 6-12 months. Six million meals have already been requested, and we expect this number will continue to rise. FMSC is preparing for long-term needs. We have already sent 2 million of the requested meals. A total of 5 million meals will be sent by the end of November 2014.
A majority of the food being sent is MannaPack Rice. Our partners are currently helping us to assess how our Potato-D formula might benefit and aid recovery in Ebola patients. FMSC meals do not cure Ebola. However, they can assist in the care and recovery of affected patients and maintain the health of those caring for patients.
As far as we know, none of FMSC’s partners have contracted Ebola. However, some of their relatives and family members have been affected. We ask you to join us in praying daily for our partners and their families.
Despite the Ebola outbreak, our partners continue to meet together on a monthly basis through a joint mission to help those who need it most. They have combined resources of FMSC food, their own ministry supplies and money in order to do outreach in the communities and hospitals affected by Ebola. What an incredible example of the body of Christ! We are extremely proud of our partners’ courage.