Let’s Can Hunger
Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to make a difference in our world. My aunt was the first person that helped me see that small actions count. Every month since I was 6, we would pack lunches and deliver them to a homeless shelter. I never understood how much that bologna sandwich, fruit cup, and bag of chips really meant to them until I went to Helena, Arkansas for a mission trip with my church. In Helena, I joined fellow leaders in teaching disadvantaged children how to swim. Before we would start our lessons, we would give every camper a Pop-Tart. I never thought much of it until I overheard a swim coach asking a little boy what he had eaten yesterday. He said nothing. My heart constricted. It had never occurred to me that a treat my brothers and I would view as a mere snack would mean everything to a child that might not have eaten otherwise.
For eight years, I continued to visit Helena every summer. I grew to love the underdeveloped city and its beautifulpeople. They taught me to not take things for granted. When I compare my life to theirs, I feel guilty. How could they be so happy while having so little? How could I want more after having so much? I’ve always had these questions in the back of my mind. Then, a friend introduced me to pageantry. She told me all about her platform and how it is unique to her. My questions had finally been answered.
I came up with the idea, “Let’s Can Hunger.” It focuses on feeding the less fortunate and curing the need for food in our communities. I partner with Richmond’s Friends for the Homeless along with using my contacts to grow a larger donation base and more community involvement from my peers. To start the conversation on, I use the hashtag, #LetsCanHunger. I use this in pictures I post about saying what is going on in my area and how others can get associated. It is resourceful at every canned food drive, Caritas event, food pantry, homeless shelter, and soup kitchen where I spend my time. I’d like to see my platform have state-wide exposure to increase awareness, involve youth from around the Commonwealth, and eventually end hunger.
When chosen as Miss Virginia’s Outstanding Teen, I can further this cause. The exposure of a state title will allow my platform the growth it needs to truly make a difference in Virginia. Hunger is a local, state, and national problem. To be able to bring attention and gain involvement in assisting the hungry, would be my dream come true. What better way to serve Virginia than by making sure everyone is properly fed?
My passion is serving others; I want to expand recognition of this substantial issue. We should give back to the community and help our fellow neighbors because it is the right thing to do. Having worked with the underprivileged, and seeing how much they are willing to give, makes me want to reciprocate. Many people think that starvation only happens in third world countries, however, it’s happening next door. I hope to change the common misconception that hunger is not an issue for the developing world, when it’s truly all around us, while filling many empty stomachs.