When I was growing up, my father was required to go on strike annually from work and sometimes even more often. This was everyday life for many in that area of the country in the late 60s through the 70s. For us, this meant that what little savings our family had went into making the house payment, car payments, utilities, etc. It meant that sometimes there was rice, potatoes, or beans, with tap water to drink and sometimes it meant asking God for food because there was nothing. This only happened for a few weeks at a time. I can’t imagine how a child feels when this is the norm. When I graduated from college my first job kept promising to eventually pay me if I would keep doing good work. They promised a room at a boarding house but it was given away just before I arrived. But for a discounted price they made a place for me to sleep on the back porch on a piece of lawn furniture. I had to work two jobs, one that paid and one that didn’t and many times do it on an empty belly. I eventually realized that I was being naive and moved on but hungry children in East Tennessee can’t do that. They are trapped. We can all relate to tough times, many of us, to times when there was not enough food. Most of us don’t live there 365 days a year though.
Many people that I have talked to, that are, “habitual philanthropists,” are those that have seen lean seasons in their own lives and want to help others. They don’t necessarily have the most disposable income as much as they feel a tug on their hearts. Sometimes we feel that we don’t have enough to make a big impact but everything helps and everything added together makes a big impact.
According to Second Harvest, 1 in 8 children in East Tennessee faces hunger situations every single day. The Y-12 FCU Gives Foundation wants to end childhood hunger in East Tennessee. Many of us are blessed with good jobs, enough food on the table, and a safe place to live. This is not the case for everyone but together we can do something that helps. In East Tennessee, any size gift makes a difference in a hungry child’s life.
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Dr. Gary Brewster
Y-12 FCU Gives Foundation