Students learn value of volunteering

Milaca Public School’s Give Me 5 students Elena Olivo, Jordan Habinger, Gina Bergantzel, Kathryn Pine, Susan Shaw, McKinzie Kilbury, Sabrina Olivo, Margo Bergantzel, Kallie Gahm, Tony VantHof, Jonathan Peterson and David Pine recently helped pack meals for Feed My Starving Children.

Milaca Public School’s Give Me 5 students Elena Olivo, Jordan Habinger, Gina Bergantzel, Kathryn Pine, Susan Shaw, McKinzie Kilbury, Sabrina Olivo, Margo Bergantzel, Kallie Gahm, Tony VantHof, Jonathan Peterson and David Pine recently helped pack meals for Feed My Starving Children.

Milaca students involved in the Give Me 5 mentor program helped pack food at Feed My Starving Children in Coon Rapids Saturday, April 13, followed by a picnic at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.

“When we arrived at FMSC we gathered in a large room with other volunteers and (were) given instructions as well as watched a video about where the food goes to put in perspective just why we are doing this,” Give Me 5 Director Kathy Fitschen said. “Each person was given a task either in the warehouse or directly filling the bags with food and packing it into a box. Others worked in the labeling room, preparing bags to be packed with expiration dates.”

Fitschen said it was a valuable experience for the students, and she was pleased to see they were eager to do more.

“Before we even left FMSC the kids were already asking to come back and do it again,” she said.
“The staff there made it very fun. They were encouraging and provided a fun atmosphere with music. We were in competition to pack more boxes than the first group that morning.”

The Give Me 5 group was part of a 130-person shift that filled the food packing room. Fitschen said most of the volunteers were from other groups and some were there to help a friend or family member celebrate a birthday.

“At the end of the shift we all gathered and sang ‘Happy Birthday,’” she said. “We were encouraged to sample the food we packed prepared as it would be at its destination. The kids were in agreement that it was good food.”

Along with Fitschen, Susan Shaw and Valerie Anderson were mentors for the day and helped students package the meals. The Milaca volunteers were excited to learn they had packed more than the first shift that day.

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