Over February 4th and 5th, the Lutheran Student Movement of Roanoke College sponsored its first 30-Hour Famine.
The 30-Hour Famine is a national series of fundraisers sponsored by World Vision, an international organization that works to fight against poverty and injustice. The idea behind the 30-Hour Famine is that participants spend a day without food, to try and get a sense of what it’s like to feel hungry. To raise money, participants ask for pledges for their time without food.
The event was headed by Megan Bruening ’13, who had done 30-Hour Famines in the past. In total, 17 individuals participated in the event.
The fast began on February 4th at noon. Participants gathered beforehand to engage in one last breakfast, later the fast began with participants on their own. The students fasted alone until 6pm, when the group gathered in Antrim Chapel, where they spent the next 24 hours together.
In an effort to try and make participants understand exactly what they were doing, the group was divided into five teams, each representing one country where World Vision is active. All participants assumed the identity of a child in that country, many of whom suffered from a disability. (For example, one assumed identity was that of a child who had lost their left eye in fight over food. That person had to wear a bandana over their left eye.)
Each team, or tribe, was pitted against one another in a series of challenges, ranging from searching for food and water, to trying to prevent the spread of malaria.
In addition, a number of other activities were planned. One of these was called “Drive-By Prayer”. The group was divided into five teams, each assigned the names of fives Roanoke College staff or faculty. Groups drove to their homes, prayed for them while in the car, ran up to the door with a sign that said, “You’ve been hit by a Drive-By Prayer! Have a great day!”, and ran away before anyone could see. In addition, the groups wrote thank you notes to various local public servants.
After a rather draining 30 hours without food whilst cramped in Antrim Chapel, the group was ecstatic at 6PM for breakfast on February 5th, when they all scampered to the Commons, all possessions in tow.
But what they were even more ecstatic about was the amount of money raised. Donations, which are generally collected online, totaled more than $1500 by the time the fast began, and will continue throughout this week.
In addition, 30-Hour Famine will be sponsoring a swipe donation day on February 13th. Students in the Commons will be able to donate up to 2 swipes off their meal plan, and the funds collected will go towards World Vision.