It was a busy Saturday at Children's Hunger Fund, located in Homewood. Groups from Parkview Christian Church to Living Springs Church came together to help pack food for children going hungry in the south suburbs.
One of the students was from Lincoln-Way North and came with her friends from Parkview Church. "There are a lot of children who are hungry," said Alexa. "We take for granted the food that we have everyday. Some people here don't think about others who are starving in other places of the world."
Student ministries intern, Daniel Thompson from Parkview church in Orland Park was happy with what his group accomplished. "We like to give our students the opportunity to serve, it's a mark of maturity in their faith. We know they will be doing something for someone else."
As boxes were being packed and toys were being stacked, about 15 people were in the training room getting to know how the Children's Hunger Fund will help their church.
Mike Busch, the Ministry Development Director for the Midwest Children's Hunger Fund taught the training. Busch has worked for CHF for over four years.
"We are geared towards meeting the needs of children with a long term approach, not a short term fix," Busch said. "This is really unique because Children's Hunger Fund works through local churches, which is the best way to minister to families in need."
Children's Hunger Fund began in Los Angeles California about 20 years ago. The organization has been given a five-star financial efficiency rating by Ministry Watch.
"We'd like to get ayone involved in the south suburban area that would like to," Busch said. "If it's a church, we want to get behind you and help the people in your community. If your a civic group and you want to volunteer, we'd love to have you. We have volunteer days here regularly. We're always working with people to help others, especially in the south suburbs. Families are also welcome to volunteer. If you know of a company or organization that produces food or get behind a charity, we would appreciate the introductions."
The Children's Hunger Fund Midwest serves the Chicagoland area from Rockford to Kankakee. The ministry also donates to Northwest Indiana and has churches involved in Michigan as well. They are looking to expand into more urban areas. Busch encourages people to get involved.
"We hear from churches in the South Suburbs who run into families that are going hungry," Busch said. "They might be in a town you wouldn't drive through or your neighbor struggling to make ends meet. There is a constant growing demand of people in need. We'd love to hear from churches that want to help them."
New Life Baptist Church in Chicago Heights is ready to roll. They have been involved in the community for more than 20 years. Church member, Alice Bell was one of three from the church going for the training class Saturday.
"I came here so I could be able to reach more people," Bell said. "We want to save souls. We also do PADS for the homeless women and children. We want to reach out to more using Childrens' Hunger Fund.
"I've witnessed hunger, I've witnessed homelessness," Bell added. "There is a lot of this in America, it's really sad. We want to be able to feed the children and share the Gospel."
Children's Hunger Fund is looking for volunteers to help wrap 40,000 toys that will be given to area churches and organizations that will be distributed to needy children.
Toy Wrap days are Nov. 17 and Dec. 1 from 9am to noon at the CHF warehouse, located at 17451 Palmer Blvd. in Homewood. You do need to register at the program Website. To contact Children's Hunger Fund, call 708-799-5822.