Local teens fast to raise funds in fight against world hunger

Contributed photo: Missouri School for the Deaf students Erin Sherrer and Kenrick Bell help organize baby necessities at Faith Maternity House on Saturday. The teens performed community service while participating in the World Vision’s 30-Hour Fast Saturday.

Contributed photo: Missouri School for the Deaf students Erin Sherrer and Kenrick Bell help organize baby necessities at Faith Maternity House on Saturday. The teens performed community service while participating in the World Vision’s 30-Hour Fast Saturday.

Eight area students joined youth from around the world on a 30-hour fast beginning Friday. The teenagers decided to participate in World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine that is held annually to bring awareness to the thousands of starving families across the globe.

All eight teens are students of Missouri School for the Deaf and members of “Hands of Love” deaf youth ministry at First Baptist Church in Fulton. They began their fast at 1 p.m. Friday and ended it at 7 p.m. Saturday. They also participated in fundraising and service projects Friday and Saturday and will wrap-up the weekend with a bake sale from 1-4 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Family Video.

“The money we raise always goes to World Vision,” said Tessi Muskrat, volunteer coordinator of the youth ministry.

World Vision works in communities worldwide to assist in cases of famine, conflict and other crises. Muskrat said this year the focus of the famine is on Haiti. Not only will the teens volunteer hours at a food bank in Columbia and Faith Maternity Care in Fulton, but they will also participate in “survival” activities to give them a “tiny glimpse of what Haitians experience.” The students worked on raising money prior to the 30-hour famine weekend and took pledges for every hour of their fast, hoping to receive pledges of at least $1 per hour. World Vision reports that every $30 raised can help feed and care for a child for a month. World Vision set a specific time for the famine so all participants could be fasting at the same time.

“We’re doing the fast at the same time as hundreds of thousands of youth from around the world,” Muskrat said.

The teens are allowed to drink water or juice, but no food is allowed.

Erin Sherrer, 15, and Kiara Kennedy, 17, have fasted for the event in prior years.

“I don’t feel the hunger pains, because I know what I’m doing is for a good cause,” said Sherrer.

She explained that the first time she fasted for the event is was difficult, but it has become easier each year.

“I feel sorry for young people who have no food,” Kennedy added.

Kennedy said she enjoys participating in the volunteer work and the fundraiser as a way to help improve the world and people’s health.

“The kids can learn and have their horizons broadened while at the same time doing something physical to benefit the local area,” Muskrat said.

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