I was at an IBM conference in 2016 where I was a speaker for IBM. While there, I volunteered in a meal packaging event with Rise Against Hunger that resulted in a whole container full of meals (about 285,000 meals) being packaged. Our church had done something very similar in the past with another organization, so I inquired with the leaders there about how we might do a similar event. As a result, two of us from our church went to the grand opening of the Kearny, New Jersey, Rise Against Hunger location. I decided to lead an event. They made it very easy! We started raising money for an event. The church leaders contributed $1,000 from the budget. The children from Vacation Bible School raised another $1,000, and the church family individuals gave additional funds. We exceeded our goal and were able to package 12,500 meals! We involved community from the Rotary, especially a lot of youth from the Rotary programs in the middle school and high school!
I also contacted the IBM Club of New Jersey. They agreed to fund an event if I took the lead. And, so I lead that event in February 2017 to package another 10,000 meals at the Kearny Rise Against Hunger location. I then learned that IBM offered a community grant. I wrote up our information and submitted an application. We received a $2,000 grant from IBM for RAH and we used those funds to do another meal packaging event at the Kearney Rise Against Hunger location in May. Although I couldn’t have done it all without the help of God, my wife and many volunteers, the Rise Against Hunger team made it very easy to coordinate the events! We’re working toward doing another one at the church this coming October!