Teens opt to go hungry in World Vision fundraiser
Twenty-nine students in Kent were among an estimated 150,000 kids nationwide who went without food for 30 hours this weekend to raise awareness for world hunger.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Solomon Kain, 21, was belting "Lean On Me" at a busy intersection in Kent.
He and 28 of his friends were waving signs and hollering at honking cars to raise awareness for world hunger.
Their action was part of World Vision's 20th annual 30 Hour Famine, a fundraiser in which young adults go without food for more than a day to better understand what it means to be hungry. The teens began their fast at noon Friday and planned to break it together at a potluck Saturday evening.
"One of the core problems in the world is the billion people that go to bed hungry every night," said John Yeager, special-projects coordinator for World Vision, an international Christian humanitarian organization based in Federal Way. "If we can get teenagers to think about this at a young age, they may be more responsive to appeals [for aid] as they get older."
World Vision says it has raised $140 million since the famine project began in 1992, with this year's goal set at about $10 million, said Michele Tvedt, national manager of 30 Hour Famine. The money, mostly from pledges, goes to World Vision causes in countries such as Sudan, Haiti and Japan.
Kain's group, from the Cornerstone Community Baptist Church in Kent, had raised more than $3,000 by Saturday afternoon. Along the way, the teens took part in team-building activities and community service to raise awareness of the issue and help keep their minds off food.
Tvedt, a 25-year-old from Lakewood, Pierce County, said she's done the event for 13 years. In August, Tvedt said, she had a chance to see firsthand where the funds go, when she led a group to a village in Bolivia.
She saw World Vision giving seeds to farmers and providing a loan to build a greenhouse so they could grow crops, which they sold to a bakery built with 30 Hour Famine funds, she said. In turn, that bakery baked bread for malnourished children at nearby schools.
"It's eye-opening," she said about the experience. "It's so, so simple compared to what we have."
Kain, who is in his third year at Green River Community College in Auburn, said he started participating in the event three years ago. "I needed to do it just to see what it felt like."
But with only three hours left to go in the fast, he was thinking about other things besides the cause.
"I would love some Hawaiian pizza," he said.
Brittney Wong: 206-464-3195 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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