JOLIET, Ill. — A UNICEF report stating that some 18,000 children die each day from hunger and hunger-related disease inspired a group of students from University of St. Francis (USF) to take action.
USF student leaders are teaming with a nonprofit Christian organization called Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) to host a “mobile pack” event on the university’s campus on April 6, 2013. FMSC works to feed malnourished children in more than 70 countries around the world through their unique meal packing program, in which “MannaPacks”-- scientifically formulated, dehydrated meals that are measured to provide just the right amount of nourishment for starving children-- are manually packed by volunteers. USF students, alumni and other volunteers will be involved.
To raise funds to support the Feed My Starving Children event, USF junior Brandon Collofello of Minooka, Ill. is attempting to set a world record for “Aztec push-ups.” To complete an Aztec push-up, the pusher-upper lowers their body to the floor in the style of a normal pushup, but instead of rising to a stationary horizontal position, he/she actually projects their body into the air, losing contact with the floor, and touches their hands and feet together quickly before returning to the starting push-up position and repeating.
Collofello will attempt to do more than 20 Aztec push-ups in one minute to set a world record during halftime of the USF men’s home varsity basketball game on Wednesday, Nov. 28. He will be featured on WGN-TV “Time for Talent” segment on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 27, when he will promote the FMSC event. His personal goal is to raise $3,000, and money will be contributed to the FMSC mobilepack event on April 6. You can support Collofello and the USF event team by donating online at www.fmsc.org/mobilepack/events-- USF’s unique event number is 1304-29. Donations can also be mailed directly to Feed My Starving Children, Attn: MobilePack #1304-29 (USF), 401 93rd Ave. NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433.
A humble Collofello stressed that he isn’t alone in his passion or his efforts.
“Although I’m trying to set a world record, the major goal is to raise funds for Feed My Starving Children in order to provide meals for malnourished children. There are so many other USF students helping to make this event happen and I’m just so thankful to be able to work together with my peers in the hope of raising $22,000 to provide 100,000 meals for children and families in need,” he said.
Cost per MannaPack is 22 cents. USF students will be required to raise $22,000, or enough for 100,000 dehydrated meals, in order to make the April event a reality. Once they complete their fundraising, students will work with FMSC to organize the event and send food to needy children and their families in third world countries.
The USF students coordinating this event hope it provides a meaningful service opportunity that inspires young people to have a hunger for service, compassion for all people, and student leadership. In addition to Collofello’s push to raise funds, other students are working hard to ensure that the April 6 event can occur, including event co-coordinator (with Collofello) Samantha Aguilera of Montgomery, Ill.
The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing and health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit www.stfrancis.edu.