One Woman. One Big Heart. Her Fight Against HUNGER!
1.02 billion people around the world suffers from chronic hunger.
1 in 6 Americans don’t know where their next meal will come from.
More than 16 million U.S. children face a summer of hunger.
Whether it’s hunger in America or around the world, it’s known as the “silent killer” because it’s an issue that has lost it’s visibility and yet it’s the number ONE risk to the health worldwide, greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Many of us are simply unaware how bad the hunger situation is because it’s so easy to only associate hunger to third world nations facing famines, wars or droughts. Sadly, it’s just a myth. Hunger exists in our own backyards too!
One of our members, Michelle Degironemo decided to take some action. She hosted an Appetizer Party to raise funds for Food For The Poor and hoped others would also get on the “Gratitude” bandwagon. She shares with us her fund-raising story.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m was born in Chicago and the youngest of 6 girls. I’m happily married to my husband of 23 years who loves to cook. We have 2 sons, one in culinary school in Chicago and the other is pursuing a business career. I’ve many things I consider important in my life, and they give me great joy and help keep my life balanced – prayer and faith comes first, then I’m available to actively participate with my family, my 2 dogs, cooking, baking, gardening, reading, poetry and building lasting relationships with my friends.
What made you host an Appetizer Party for Charity?
It’s a natural thing for me to do. It is nervous at first to ask others to donate to a charity that I feel so strongly about. We often get invited to our friends’ homes or have people over for dinner. Entertaining costs too much and I got really upset over this recently, when I realized how much money goes into hosting get-togethers. Some of this money should be given to people who have nothing or little to eat. Hence, I’ve decided wholeheartedly to do more with less. I wanted others to get on the “Gratitude” bandwagon and realize that we are blessed to have food. I think my party helped do exactly what I intended. I even received checks from people who couldn’t attend. Not being afraid of spreading the world is all it takes for things like this to catch on.
How does a Appetizer Party work?
All guests were asked to bring an appetizer to share for however many people were invited. I asked for a minimum $10 donation, so as not to offend anyone who couldn’t really afford much. I set up a box for donations, however, I also recommend having someone going around collecting the funds and saying “thank you” for helping a great cause.
How much was raised at the party and which charity received the donations?
I chose Food For the Poor. We donate to them frequently and have reviewed their annual budget. They are reputable. This is my first fundraiser event. Considering it’s the first, and we only invited 15 people, we raised several hundred dollars!
How often do you plan to host such parties and any advice on spreading the word?
I plan to host this type of party a few times a year and try to invite other guests and perhaps some business people. Tell your guests to bring friends, however, only invite up to a size you can manage and cope.
Any advice for our readers who may be interested to host a similar fund raising event to help the unfortunate?
I plan to donate to a local charity the next time. Some people might be offended when the donations are going to other countries and not the U.S. If any guests feel that way, simply ask them to write the check to any charity that needs food and shelter, however, make sure to collect the check from them. Once the donation is made, contact the charity of your choice and ask for Thank You cards or some kind of receipt. Note that some charities may not provide them. If that’s the case, be sure to follow up with a mass email or written Thank You note to guests with the amount of their donation. If any guests mistakenly make the check out to you, sign it over immediately to the charity, so that it can be cashed by the charity and not leave your guests suspicious.
We would like to thank Michelle for her generosity in sharing her story and advice. If you have any questions for her, login to LoveWithFood.com and post a question on her page. http://www.lovewithfood.com/mdegironemo
How you can join the fight against hunger?
1) Host a fundraising event like Michelle
2) In the U.S.? You can donate either money, time or food to Feeding America.
3) International Love? The World Food Program offers a wide array of monetary and non-monetary ways to help.
4) Got Facebook? Share a plate on Facebook and Walmart will donate one healthy meal to one hungry American.
5) Got mouse? Simply click once a day on the Hunger Site and a cup of food will be donated.
Top Photo by: Mr Kris