This Thanksgiving! I am running 10k Run for the Utah Food Bank!
As many of you already know I volunteer at the Utah Food Bank quite frequently. Every Tuesday night it has been my home away from home. This last Tuesday (October 24th) night after my "shift" was done I was asked why? "Why Erik are you giving so much time here? "
I mumbled some answer to the affect of I just wanted to do some good. I left it at that.
Deep down I knew the real reason, I was just ashamed still til this day to say. I too know what it's like to go day by day wondering where my next meal is coming from. Where or where can I get something to eat. Or the empty stomach pains and growling to no end hour after hour. Here are some true life facts:
Longest streak I went with out food: 21 days. October 10-31 1997 Surprisingly I wasn't homeless. This was in college. Needless to say I dropped out on October 31st. What happened on October 31st? Someone sent me $50.00 in the mail. I cashed the check and my first meal I had was a Steak and Cheese sub, french fries, with a Pepsi. Nothing in my life ever tasted any better than that sub. Not the wisest choice but at the time hit the right spot.
My biggest heart break ever was in college as well. It wasn't over some girl, I still hadn't dated anyone at this point. I was walking around town still in the college town on an off day still hungry, still lost trying to figure things out. I don't know how long I had been walking I just started and kept going. As I was walking I happened to notice something on the ground 5 to 10 feet away. I knew what it was from a distance and when I saw it I was electrified. My heart racing. I looked around to see if any one was there. Nope no one! Yes I said with a fist pump in my head. Finally my prayers have been answered. As I got closer the more excited I got. I stooped down to pick it up and with one fell swoop my heart was broken. My hunger would continue. I was deflated and defeated. What was you ask? It was from a distance the end of my hunger, hope restored. But in reality a fake twenty dollar bill.
So there you have it some insight to my WHY factor. I know some of you already know this and some of you do not know this. I'm not afraid to tell you. I was once one of these people that ran out of luck. Ran out of money. I did not know where my next meal came from. I was afraid to ask for help. I was homeless. I was lost in this world. The truth plain and simple.
Steve Jobs said something that makes a lot of sense to me now:
"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."
Friends and Family I am asking for your help this year to give a little more this year. To see deep within your hearts what other's don't see always see. 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 6 children have no idea when their next meal is coming. I am asking for your to believe in a future where no one goes hungry. Where there's plenty of food given and plenty more food to give. Together we can and will make a difference.
Thank you for your friendships and love.
PS: Please feel free to send this link to others that might help. We will need all the help we can get.
Founded in 1904, Utah Food Bank has operated under various names but has always remained true to their mission of Fighting Hunger Statewide. 382,000 Utahns, which equates to 1 in 8 Utahns, are at risk of missing a meal today. Even more alarming is that 1 in 7 Utah kids are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Last year, they distributed over 39.2 million pounds of food, the equivalent of over 32.7 million meals, to people facing hunger across the state. Utah Food Bank can stretch each $1 donated into $7.48 worth of goods and services. To find out more about donating food, time or money, please visit http://www.utahfoodbank.org.
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