Friday, August 18, 2006

Hungry? Have you ever been?

Paying the bills in the summertime always turns out to be a challenge.

Donations drop.

Needs rise.

Nerves get stretched tight among our staff members who are charged with providing the services, raising the funds and evaluating the outcomes.

Currently, we have maxed out our credit line at the North Texas Food Bank where we purchase 99% of our food supplies for about 14 cents per pound--best deal in town! We owe them about $40,000 today. We are going forward on a C.O.D. basis because hungry people keep showing up at our door--well over 150 families daily.

Have you ever been hungry?

I mean really hungry over an extended period of time with no food available to you?

Many of my neighbors don't enjoy "food security"--that's the new phrase we toss about these days when it comes to hunger in the nation.

Many children go to bed hungry and get up that way. Many are happy school is back in session today because of the lunch, and in some cases the breakfast, meals they will receive while there.

Years ago, Edd Eason, our Youth Minister, organized a 30-hour fast for a retreat setting. The emphasis was on world hunger and poverty. So, for over a full day we went without food--about 30 hours as I recall.

It was very hard.

It hurt.

I'll never forget the experience of standing up to speak on Sunday morning before breaking my fast. Not an easy matter.

So, as a part of our on-going, on-line, blog donation effort (see upper right margin and the graphic of little houses that need to be painted green! ), here's a suggestion.

Declare a personal fast day in the next week or two. Don't tell anyone. Just decide not to eat for at least 12 hours--24 would be better.

Create a "fast fund container"--jar, envelope, drawer. Every time during the fast that you become aware of your hunger, make a donation to your container and offer up a prayer for those who live with hunger.

At the end of your fast, enjoy a healthy meal, spend some time in prayer and meditation about your experience and then send your collected "hunger awareness" fund to me at:

Larry James' Urban Daily
P. O. Box 710385
Dallas, Texas 75371-0385

Or, if you prefer, click above to donate online.

Another idea would be to calculate what you saved by not eating and make that your donation coming out of the time of "planned reflection."

Every penney you donate will be used to pay down our account at the Food Bank and/or to buy more food supplies for hungry residents of Dallas inner city neighborhoods.

What do you think?

Blog campaign update: several readers have become "Urban Daily homeowners" by donating $1,000 or more to the effort! With every $1,000 raised we paint a house green to mark our progress.

Anyone in the market for a green house today? How about making a down payment?

BTW--please forward this post to all of your friends who care about hunger and justice.


owldog said...

I am so sad to read this and I can't imagine how the parents feel when their children are hungry. You are right when you say donations are down, our electric bill doubled this month. Any way we could Pitt and Jolie to donate to hungry children here?

Chris Field said...

I know this first hand from my years at Camp of the Hills, Larry. Thanks for the reminder.

By the way, do you know anyone in Lubbock that might be able to give Stacey a job? Read my blog if so.

Jeremy Gregg said...

Friends: We'll have an updated count on the blog campaign next week. Thanks to everyone who donated!

Also, for those of you who are on MySpace, we are just now getting our account started... connect to us, if you can! We want to build a genuine community online.