Church seeks help fighting hunger in Haiti

MIDDLEBURY — Memorial Baptist Church in Middlebury is partners with the organization Hope Changes Everything (hopechangeseverything.net), sending a small team to Grand Goave, Haiti, about every other year since the massive earthquake of 2010. Several members of the church sponsor children in Haiti. 
Supporting and serving (alongside a local Haitian representative) in Grand Goave — helping to build houses, staffing Children’s Day — is the church’s primary foreign mission outreach. 
Memorial Baptist Church recently received a distressing email from Renee at Hope Changes Everything. Based in Wilmington, N.C., the organization was devastated by Hurricane Florence. Many of the churches in their community are struggling to help their people rebuild. Hope Changes Everything made a commitment to provide meals for the children of Grand Goave for one year. That feeding program is now in jeopardy for lack of funds and manpower. The organization reports: “We are presently committed to providing about 3,500 meals a week, which equates to 140,000 meals during the school year. We have enough food to last until March but in order to feed the children an entire school year, we will need to have an event by November.” 
Memorial Baptist Church is asking Vermont friends and neighbors: Might your church be able to host such an event? Here is more information to consider:
“We work through Lifeline Ministries and ABC Foods. Information can be found on their website or I will be happy to explain the process. Basically, money is raised and the number of meals packed is determined by the amount of money raised. The only outside expense is the transportation to the site and overnight accommodations for the driver and coordinator. ABC foods sends a person who leads the event. The sponsoring group provides the volunteer manpower. There is something for all ages to do. It is fun and easy and fast. Last year, we packed 70,000 meals in 3 hours.” 
It takes approximately three months to get the packed food to the children in Haiti. They have enough food until March, but an event in November would help ensure that there is no gap. Might your church, along with many of the other ABC Vermont/New Hampshire churches, be able to fill this need?
Memorial Baptist is looking to do a packing event in mid-January. Hope Changes Everything needs 289 boxes of food and the cost of a box is approximately $45. This equates to around $13,000. This is a lot to digest and to pray about. Memorial is ready to help, both in manpower and through a potential shower of blessings from a little fundraiser they are in the middle of raising funds. 
Last summer, their Haiti team decided to do a cookbook fundraiser and to use the funds as seed money toward sending a team next winter. Now they are certain that this cookbook may be used by to raise the needed funds for the feeding program. They are hopeful that many other ABC churches will purchase a case of cookbooks (around $365/case), which would raise funds for the feeding program. They may not be able to reach the $13,000 goal, but, as church members say, “We have a big God and anything is possible!”
If any church or person would like to help, please contact Kathleen Smith from Memorial Baptist Church at (802) 989-2808. 
Editor’s note: This story was provided by Marie Townsend, a member of the Memorial Baptist Church. 

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