It’s cold here today — like the rainy and bitter cold. It’s the kind of day you would like to make a big mug of hot chocolate and sit in front of a fire. But that’s not what Carter, and her friends Mason and Ellis did with me today. For a mission project the four of us went down to the unheated Durham Food Bank warehouse and sorted brights.
Brights might be a term you are not familiar with unless you are in the canning or food banking business. A bright is a can without a label. The kids spent the afternoon inspecting dented cans and identifying the contents by a stamp on the lid and adding labels to those without one. After doing all that they had to box the good ones and then carefully stack the rejects in a giant box to be sent off to a hog farm. Since they were the first crew on this bright shift the reject box was empty. One kid had to climb inside the box and the others handed the cans in. Carter was the last one to put her finger on her nose so into the box she went.
Let me set the record straight that I did not do any of the work. I had other Food Bank business to attend to while I was there. Thankfully Carter’s mentor Jamie came and supervised when I had to be elsewhere. By the time I came back they had sorted through a good size pallet and Ellis and Mason were just handing the last of the cans down inside the box to Carter.
It was not hard work, but good work. Their volunteer time was equivalent to what it would have cost the Food Bank about $120 if they had to pay an employee to do it. Instead of spending their resources doing that the Food Bank will be able to spend that money acquiring more food to feed hungry people. They can turn that $120 into $1,200 worth of food so in essence that is how much food the kids were providing to hungry people by volunteering.
North Carolina kids hold the Guinness World record for the largest food drive by a non-charitable organization in 24 hours. Two years ago the students at the NC school of Science and Math in conjunction with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC collected 559,885 pounds of food in Durham – A WORLD RECORD.
The kids at Science and Math had tried to break that record in years before and even though they had not succeeded they had fed thousands of people with the food they collected. Their not setting the record was still a big win for the Food Bank.
So today on this cold and blistery day I am thankful for the generosity and hard work of kids. Everyone can make a difference in the world no matter your age.