Recruiting 500 volunteers within a week might seem like a daunting task, but the father/son team organizing the three-day Feed My Starving Children event at next week isn't easily fazed.
Case in point: during the last two months, they decided to increase the size of their already huge meal-packing operation by 40 percent, said co-organizer Todd Christianson.
“We had some strong interest from organizations in the community, and that led us to increase the size of the event,” he said.
So, instead of 200 volunteers per shift, they’ll now have room for 280, and instead of feeding 1,400 people for a year, the meals packed in Oakdale will feed more than 1,900 for a year, he said.
That also means Todd Christianson and his son, David, must raise more money for ingredients—about $160,000—and recruit more volunteers.
If they don't have enough volunteers to fill the shifts, they won’t meet their goal of 700,000 meals, David Christianson said.
That’s a huge number considering the pair’s original plan was to get 60 friends to pack one night at a Feed my Starving Children site.
“It’s been incredible to see it grow this way,” David Christianson said. “From let’s get a few people together to the scope that we’re at now.”
Todd Christianson said the same.
“I think we’ve had times of excitement and times of lost sleep and saying ‘How did we get into this?’ and wondering how it’s all going to come together,” he said. “Even now, it seems like we’re in this final sprint at the end of the race trying to get all the final details done … but all the pieces are coming together very well."
Want to Help?
Volunteer: Sign up on the Feed my Starving Children website for a two-hour shift. Shifts are from 4 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. each evening May 22-24. The greatest need right now is for volunteers during the 4 to 6 p.m. shifts.
Donate: Organizers are trying to raise $160,000 to cover the cost of ingredients. They’re about halfway to the goal right now. Donations can be made at the event, or through the event website.