In 2019, a group of students from Village Christian School visited Children’s Hunger Fund Headquarters. Among the group was second-grader Emily Salibian.
“When she came back,” recalled Emily’s mother, Alli, “she was super excited. She brought home this Coin Pak—just one little coin box—and she said that she wanted to collect quarters, and one quarter would equal one meal. She was so excited about how she could make an impact. That changed how our family thought of service as a family.”
This wasn’t the Salibian family’s first introduction to Children’s Hunger Fund, but it was certainly the most impactful. Several years prior, they had participated in Project Food Pak with their church.
“We picked up a Food Pak,” shared Alli, “filling it with the necessary items that were on a shopping list and bringing it back to church. That was a one-time, once-a-year opportunity.”
Once Emily had visited Poverty Encounter, however, the family’s relationship with Children’s Hunger Fund changed. “It made me feel like I wanted to come back and serve in a way that it would help people to have everything I have,” Emily shared.
But it didn’t just stop with Emily. Her older sister, Abigail, also had the opportunity to visit Poverty Encounter and volunteer at Children’s Hunger Fund.
“I started volunteering with my family,” Abigail shared, “because when Emily came home with the Coin Pak, we were really excited because we wanted to be able to raise money. And it was really fun! During the summer, two years ago, we made a lemonade stand and we gave out lemonade for free. But the people who were getting the lemonade actually donated. All the money that was donated, we put in the Coin Pak.”
The next time the Salibian family participated in Project Food Pak, the girls were much more invested in the process—to the point that they were debating which type of fruit snacks the children receiving the Food Paks would enjoy the most.
“We wanted to participate in Project Food Pak because we love how this ministry is carried out,” Alli shared. “It is so important to serve others in their time of need. The Bible does say use your resources in service to others. ‘Love one another’ is a commandment in Scripture. And we believe that loving one another is providing resources to those in need.”
The Salibian family is fully invested in service and have found a variety of ways to serve at Children’s Hunger Fund.
“Our mom is very joyful and happy that we are willing to serve,” Abigail shared, “that we are willing to spend part of our day—that we could be spending with friends or going out—to help serve others. The great part about that is she knows how much we love to serve and to help. So it helps her to sign us up more so that we can help more.”
“Volunteering gives our family a refreshed perspective on what it means to serve,” Alli shared. “Because we’re able to volunteer on a regular basis at Children’s Hunger Fund, we get to see that whole process play out from start to finish. It’s just exciting to see what God is going to do with just our small effort one day and then our effort the next week and a little bit for the next week all builds into one final product, which is somebody being delivered food and the gospel.”