On December 12th, volunteers from 27 Springleaf* branches in Illinois and Wisconsin will be helping repackage food to help hungry children worldwide. Volunteers will be working with Feed My Starving Children, an organization dedicated to providing food to malnourished children and families around the globe.
Springleaf volunteers will be working at Feed My Starving Children's facilities in Schaumburg, Aurora, and Libertyville, IL. Each shift involves packing dry meals to be sent for distribution to people in need around the world.
For many of the Springleaf volunteers, this will not be their first time participating. In July, volunteers from 4 Springleaf branches in the area volunteered with the organization. Their experience inspired them to help plan an even larger Springleaf volunteering event with Feed My Starving Children during the holiday season. One of the volunteers involved was Jeanette Krauss-Fehlhafer, Springleaf branch manager in Schaumburg, IL.
"It's a really feel-good thing to do," says Krauss-Fehlhafer. She recounts a story that was shared with volunteers the last time she participated, which illustrated the impact of Feed My Starving Children's program. FMSC staff told volunteers about a 2-year old girl who, due to lack of nourishment, weighed as much as an infant and was suffering from developmental delays, unable to walk or talk. Her mother began making hours-long daily commutes to bring food provided by Feed My Starving Children back to her daughter. With this food, her daughter was able to make great progress in health and development, reaching a healthy weight and becoming able to walk and talk in just a few months.
This story hit home for Krauss-Fehlhafer, who says that the story of this mother and daughter will remain forever in her heart. It also caused her to want to do more.
"A bunch of us said we'd like to do it once a month," says Krauss-Fehlhafer. She looks forward to having the chance to volunteer with her branch team again. "[Volunteering] as a group helps make us more closely-knit," she says. "They're not just co-workers - they become your family."
Many of the Springleaf participants will also be bringing their own families to volunteer. Krauss-Fehlhafer considers this to be a way of "showing our kids that some people don't have what we have," which helps their kids to not take the things they have for granted.
However, the experience also reminds adults to be thankful for the things they take for granted and of the importance of giving back, according to Krauss-Fehlhafer. "Just being there and hearing the story is what touches you the most, makes you want to do more," she says.
To learn more about Feed My Starving Children, please visit their website. Springleaf and its affiliated companies are not affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by Feed My Starving Children.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and the individuals quoted and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Springleaf. The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else. The author was compensated by Springleaf for this post.
* Please note that Springleaf has changed its name to OneMain.