With a plan to make a difference in the world and bring the community together for a purpose, more than 1,200 volunteers will descend upon Hosanna Lutheran Church in Forest Lake April 20-22 in an effort to pack 250,000 meals to be shipped overseas to children in need.
“We are contracted at 250,000 meals at a cost of 22 cents per meal,” Linda Friesen, church pastor, said. “If we exceed the goal, which we did last year by packing 171,000 meals when we were contracted for 150,000, we will be asked to pay for each extra meal. Fundraising has been difficult this year, as we have to make up $22,000 from last year and we have very few new partners. This is a community event and we continue to look for full support.”
Earlier this month, the church hosted, in partnership with Stella’s, a beer and hymn sing-along fundraising event that boasted 200 attendees and brought in $5,000. The church was also able to match funds from a family challenge to add $25,000 to the pot.
Aside from the funding challenge, the effort also includes a volunteer challenge. Adding 100,000 more meals to the 2017 goal means all hands on deck.
“More meals not only means more money, but also more volunteer opportunities,” Friesen said. “This year, St. Peter’s will be bringing their sixth-grade classes to pack on Friday afternoon. At this same time we will have people from Birchwood Senior Living Center here.”
Changes to this year’s events include added space for fellowship opportunities and a coffee and snack bar for volunteers with all proceeds going to Feed My Starving Children.
“We are all excited to be able to bring this opportunity to Forest Lake again this year,” Friesen said. “I look forward to community coming together and experience the joy of giving.”
Anyone interested in donating or signing up to volunteer can visit www.hosannaforestlake.net/fmsc-mobile-pack.