As an organization committed to COVID-19 Relief, Rise Against Hunger has witnessed thousands of Hunger Champions creatively respond to the challenges presented by the global health crisis. We’ve worked hand-in-hand with our generous partners as they continue to support food insecure communities through virtual engagement opportunities. We’ve watched passionate volunteers package meals in a sanitized and socially distanced environment, as well as join us for trivia nights, online fundraisers and virtual 5Ks. We are constantly inspired by our global network of Hunger Champions who have committed to making a global impact against all odds.
Once such Hunger Champion in high school freshman Dylan Fetterman, who created Project Zeros 2020, a campaign committed to supporting nonprofit organizations like Rise Against Hunger by selling eco-friendly bracelets and other merchandise. We connected with Dylan to learn the whats, whys and hows of his journey to create change.
Q: First, share your vision for Project Zeros. What inspired you to take action?
A: During the spring of 2020, I had some additional free time while in quarantine. After seeing posts on social media seeking critical support, I knew I needed to take action. I began brainstorming and researching ways to get involved and make a difference. I started off by doing a donation drive for a local homelessness shelter in South Florida, which ended up expanding to include other homelessness shelters on the West Coast of the U.S.. The donation drive was a huge success, and from that moment on I was so inspired to continue giving back. Additionally, when I was in 5th grade, I partnered with Pop Sockets and Blessings in a Backpack to do a fundraiser that raised over $5,000. I saw the impact that my 5th grade enrichment project had, and I knew that this was only the beginning. The vision behind Project Zeros stems from the goal of Zero Homelessness and Zero Hunger. I used my own personal knowledge of what fundraising items were popular so the campaign could be successful.
Q: Thank you for your support! Why Rise Against Hunger?
A: Rise Against Hunger has such a huge impact on millions of people’s lives and helps provide them with one of the basic necessities — food. Rise Against Hunger is already well established, and is able to showcase the amazing work they do and where the donations end up. Rise Against Hunger was such a good fit for this event because they do so much for communities around the world. Furthermore, transparency is important to me and Rise Against Hunger is transparent about their mission, strategy and impact.
Q: Did you have any idea your initial project would transform into the Project Zeros campaign? Did anything surprise you along the way?
A: I had no idea that Project Zeros would grow to support five different nonprofit organizations or that we would secure a project sponsorship! My vision started to grow as more people supported the project — and so did my drive to help communities as much as possible!
Q: You had an idea that you turned into a reality. Do you have any advice for aspiring Hunger Champions on how to make an impact?
A: Brainstorm about something that you are really passionate about and ask others to get involved with you. Talk about the idea with others and get their feedback. Then, start fundraising in your local community, school, etc. No impact is too small and everyone can make a difference!
Project Zeros 2020 supports Rise Against Hunger and four other non-profit organizations. Are you inspired by Dylan’s story? Ready to make a difference from right where you are? Check out our virtual engagement opportunities!