Every year FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) adopts a National Outreach Project that members can benefit. Our mission statement for the National Outreach Projects is: “to promote and benefit a partner organization by volunteering and/or fundraising and donating funds while gaining FCCLA exposure to business and industries.” This year, our project was Share Our Strength: No Kid Hungry. More than 16 million children live in a household where it is an everyday struggle to put food on the table. This problem causes children to not be the very best that they can be, and that is a threat to America's future. This problem is highly overlooked, and part of being in FCCLA is looking at what most would overlook and caring enough to make a difference, even if it is a little one, it is still a difference.
My chapter has tried very hard to help aid in this project, and in my opinion, we have made a difference for our community. We held a canned food drive at school. If a student brought in a can of food, they could wear their hat for free all day long, or they had to donate a dollar to wear the hat.
Have you ever heard of a weekend backpack program? Well, it is where backpacks are packed full of food that will last an entire weekend and is given out to children whose families need the extra help. Not only is food put inside the backpacks, but a little note that reads something along the lines of, "Have a good weekend! You're great!" I and other FCCLA members from multiple chapters in Region 10 made notes like that to send to the Ozark Food Harvest where the backpacks are assembled. We worked very hard to help and try to make a difference for some of these children.
Five of Missouri's FCCLA chapters have managed to raise $1,800.00 for Share Our Strength. This was all made possible through service learning, education, awareness, and fundraising. It is not easy trying to raise funds for projects like this these days, people are holding onto their money more tightly, and no one can truly blame them, but FCCLA has persevered. By 2015, the national goal is to ensure that no kid goes hungry, you might say that is a hefty goal to achieve, but we say, “Mission Possible”.
Contributed by Jessica McFarland, 2013 Media Team Member