Each year at Convention, one of the favorite activities involves giving back to the local community. Sisters from across the nation choose a service project to work on together in the host city. This year is no different, however the project has far-reaching effects we’ve not seen as an organization in quite some time. You will want to get involved.

Convention 2016 attendees will have the opportunity to help package meals at a Feed My Starving Children center in Mesa, Arizona. Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a nonprofit organization committed to feeding the hungry. The project is simple: sisters will hand-pack meals that have been scientifically designed to meet the dietary needs of severely malnourished children. Once packed, FMSC ships the meals to their distribution partners all over the world. These meals have reached nearly 70 countries around the world, with 99.6 percent of the shipped meals safely reaching their intended destinations, out of 1 billion+ shipped in the organization’s history. In 2014, FMSC produced more than 229 million meals thanks to the work of nearly 900,000 volunteers.

Packing meals at HMSC is an energizing and invigorating team-building service event. During the two hours, teams of volunteers work together on the various tasks, including packing, sealing and boxing each of the meals. Any volunteers who need to be seated can assist by labeling packets of food. Many teams compete against each other to see how many boxes of food they can complete in the allotted time. At the end of each session, the volunteers are told how many meals they’ve packed, and the impact it will have in terms of how many children they are going to feed for a year.

While Convention attendees can experience this in person, we’ve come up with a way for all our sisters to help support this year’s service project.

Those who won’t be on hand to help with the actual packing of meals can still have an impact on the lives of children across the world by making a monetary donation. FMSC estimates that each volunteer at the center typically packs about $50 worth of food in one session, which could total upwards of $5,000 worth of resources that need replenishing.

FMSC receives no government aid and relies heavily on donations from volunteers and benefactors. Many groups and individuals make advance fundraising a fun part of their service project and packing session.

So that’s where our amazing network of sisters comes in. Our goal is simple—not only do we want to fill the room with smiling sisters ready to lend a helping hand, we want to be “fully invested” by packing the meals AND investing financially in them as well.

We’ve made it possible so that everyone has a chance to help reach this goal. We’d like to raise $50 per sister who attends our service project at FMSC. And since we like to aim high, we hope to have 100 sisters at Feed My Starving Children on the Thursday of Convention 2016. That brings our lofty fundraising goal to $5,000.

We’re looking to you, sisters—your financial gift will go a long way in the fight against world hunger.

All donations to FMSC are tax-deductible, as they are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The best thing about your donation is not only does 92 percent of it go directly to the food program, but individual meals cost only $0.22 to produce, so a small donation can make a big impact. And Feed My Starving Children made it even easier to donate.

And if you don’t feel encouraged enough to donate to FMSC, Omega Phi Alpha’s National Executive Board has agreed to MATCH any donation made through the Omega Phi Alpha fundraising site, up to a total of $2,500.

We hope you find it in your heart to donate, whether it be your time at Convention, or a few dollars from your wallet, to help fight against world hunger.

Kasey Stevens (Phi)