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Thursday, May 07, 2009
A few weeks ago I was one of 1100 people in the Mitchell area who took part in an event at the Palace of Corn called Impact Lives. That's just what we did. But as for me, I had my life impacted as well.
I was part of the 8 AM shift that Saturday morning. I stumbled out of bed, got my duds on, and headed out to meet the day. I had no idea what lie ahead. I had a pretty full night at work, and I was not sure I could do this, but I was committed, so that was the end of the story. I arrived at the same time as a couple friends of mine at DWU. We were part of this group of 8 people that filled packs to be used at a Haitian refugee camp in the Dominican Republic. We had an assembly line going. One person puts in a scoop of rice, someone else a scoop of soy, someone else a scoop of dried vegetables, etc. I am not completely sure what I put it. It looked like dried milk, smelled like chicken bullion powder, but we were told it was a vitamin supplement.
For nearly two hours I scooped that stuff up. It was mind numbing, and tedious, but we were Impacting Lives. I was impacting lives! Each of these packs was one meal for a family of 6, or 6 meals for a family of 1. That was something else! To know that there were people in the world who were so desperate for something to eat, some nourishment to consume, that they would actually be taking it from the pack that I was working on. It was a big responsibility.
Like I said, I was one of 1100 people doing this. several people from DWU were part of this effort, up to and including the University President, Dr. Duffet, and his wife. They were part of a different group at a different time, but they did the same thing that he was asking his students to do. That's leading by example right there! We are taught about the concept of servant- leadership at DWU, but Dr. Duffet actually lived it that afternoon. I don't mention this to give him high honors, after all, he was just doing a job, like the rest of us. We all do what we can for those in need. Service and Sacrifice is all part of the Wesleyan tradition. We did that tradition proud that day!
The Mitchell community raised something like $75,000 and made 380,000 packets of food that day for the organization known as Impact Lives! Not bad for first timers! As for me, I hope it won't be the last. I donated money to the cause as well as bought an Impact Lives T-shirt for myself. As I so often do, I offered to donate for my friends and buy them shirts as well. Neither one wanted a shirt, but approved of the donation.
After filling packs, I helped stack the boxes of packs onto pallets, and loading the pallets onto the truck. Then we watched a presentation about the organization does and how they do it. The fellow presenting for us then said something that brought it home for me. When he was growing up, Impact Lives brought in food packs to feed him and his family. Now he is bringing in the food for other families. I left the Corn Palace that morning knowing that no matter what I did for the rest of the day, this was the most important thing I'd done. For all I know this was the answer to the prayer I had been looking for. DWU does care, and so does Mitchell! I was so blessed to see that happen.
I tried to go about the rest 0f the day doing what I was supposed to do. I was to help with the Eleanor McGovern Debates. I got to Smith Hall around noon, just in time to have lunch. All I could talk about was Impact Lives and all that it entailed. Then as I settled in to watch the debate, I fell asleep, and snored. Definitely the worst thing I did all day!
As I look back and reflect on my time at Impact Lives, I've come away with one thing. I live in a pretty good part of the world. I may complain that my income doesn't keep up with my lifestyle, but at least I have an income. Perhaps I should adjust my lifestyle accordingly! That may be the biggest impact of all!

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