“We’ve done 30-Hour Famine most years here. Basically, we open it up to everybody in the school, anybody who wants can participate,” said Natalie Townshend, learning support teacher in the ACHIEVE program, who has been involved with the initiative for over five years at the school.
Townshend said 45 students have signed up thus far and the participants are encouraged to go out in the community to get sponsorship to raise money for World Vision.
PBHS students have a few specific causes money is raised for, which includes providing clean water, providing schooling and school uniforms and causes relating to the rehabilitation of child soldiers.
“Those are the three causes our group as focused on in the past.”
According to Townshend, the idea is for students to learn compassion and caring and to look beyond the self and see what can be done to impact the world in a positive way.
“That’s kind of the key thing we focus on. We spend a part of our time at the Famine, educating the kids. We do games and activities that sort of open their eyes to what the global picture is and the fact that we’re really a privileged part of the world and there are a lot of people out there who don’t have what they need, don’t have basic needs and can’t survive because they don’t have food or clean water. We have the ability to do something about that and we should all kind of stand up and do something and do what we can do,” said Townshend.
During the fundraising event students will play games in teams, there will be a craft room and video games area and students in the community volunteerism class will be running activities such as a scavenger hunt.
“A lot of the games we do in the gym are things like Alive at Five, so what would it be like for you if you were a child growing up in Ethiopia or would you survive? Those kinds of things,” added Townshend, and the group of students usually go out around town to participate in a community activity.
“We try to positively impact our own community, as well. We’ll go out and do a food drive for the food bank. Sometimes we’ll go out and do a bottle drive to raise more money for 30-Hour Famine. It really varies with the group of kids because I let them take the lead. I have an organizing committee of eight kids and they kind of plan the activities and plan the schedule and I oversee it and direct them but I try to let them have a lot of say in what activities they want to do,” said Townshend.
Over the years the event has raised a combined total of over $15,000, said Townshend.
According to World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine, the initiative is to help save the lives of hungry kids. Every year, students around the world — unite through World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine to feed hungry children and families.