Nemaha County Residents Lend Their Hands to Those in Need
One large goal was achieved over the past weekend in Auburn: community members made a difference and lots of meals were prepared and another goal was nearly achieved: packaging 60,000 meals for the people of Haiti.
The completion of 60,000 meals fell just 2,000 short due to the fact the soy product ran out, said First United Methodist Church Pastor Fred Richart, who spearheaded the effort in Auburn.
But, the Auburn community will complete its goal of 60,000 meals when a group of area volunteers head to Lincoln and finish making the last 2,000.
Richart called the two-day volunteerism event “fabulous” and “amazing.” He even had to retrieve additional boxes of hair nets in order to accommodate all of the volunteers who were young and older.
An estimate of 350 volunteers donated their time on Saturday and Sunday, March 6-7, at the former Hansen Motor building. Some working one-hour shifts and others devoting their day to make a difference. Richart said he was expecting 300 volunteers over the weekend.
“I guess people heard about it and just showed up and teams got bigger,” Richart said.
Babies sat on parent’s hips as they poured rice into a funnel. Younger children volunteered to put information stickers on the packages. And, as they poured in their rice, soy, vegetables and chicken flavoring, high school girls talked about that night’s St. Patrick’s Day dance and who is dating whom, among a wide range of topics.
The older volunteers talked about the nutritional value of the meal and its ingredients, as well as how impressed they were with the youth’s generosity to volunteer.
After the event wrapped up on Saturday, volunteers had an opportunity to taste the chicken rice casserole they had packaged up. Auburn High senior Kailey Frenzel said she kind of enjoyed the casserole. Others students walked away thankful for their family’s full pantry.
On Monday, the Orphan Grain Train was in Auburn picking up the boxes of food and other supplies, including what was left of the 10,000 pounds of