CEN and Community Volunteering

By: Keith Blincoe, Staff Writer

On Friday, May 24, the Thunderbird chapter of the China Entrepreneur Network (CEN) organized a volunteering opportunity at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), a charity non-profit organization specializing in providing packaged nutritious food to children in impoverished areas globally. A total of 18 T-Birds joined approximately 30 other volunteers in packing rice, barley, dried vegetables, and soy powder.

Courtesy of FMSC
Courtesy of FMSC

As do many good things, the event began with breakfast. CEN members and friends ate eggs, bacon, and fruit in the honor council meeting room. This was the fourth time CEN had organized the FMSC event, but it was the first time for most of the participants to go. They set out toward FMSC’s Tempe packing facility.

Upon entering, the first order of business was to don sanitary hairnets. After an instructional and motivational video, volunteers were separated by task and moved to the warehouse. Five tables, at each of which two teams of five volunteers packed and sealed bags, were arranged throughout the room. With music blaring in the background, volunteers light-heartedly competed to fill boxes for the next 90 minutes. Each table was responsible for its own clean-up.

After clean-up, FMSC staff praised the volunteers for their productivity. It was also an emotional day for FMSC staff, as this was the last time the Tempe facility would be used. FMSC will henceforth use a larger facility in Mesa.

FMSC staff led the volunteers in a prayer (participation in which was opt-out), and volunteers were then dismissed. On the way out, some volunteers tasted samples of the food they had packed. Yuya Ota (MBA ’16) said it was, “pretty good.”

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