Tonight Jews around the world will begin an 8 day holiday that has multiple connections to our past. Sukkot is a celebration of joy, and that main function is to rejoice in nature in structures (Sukkot) that we build to include natural materials. We eat and some people sleep in these structures meant to be temporary. It is an agricultural celebration of the harvest and the antecedent to our modern American Thanksgiving, a reminder of our time wandering in the wilderness living in tents in non-permanent housing, and it also is about remembering that with joy comes the reminder that life is fragile, like the structures we build.
Part of the tradition is to invite people into our sukkah (the structure) and share our bounty, our abundance. I know that most of my friends do not celebrate this holiday but I would like to make a connection to another commemoration today. Today is World Food Day and to that end the organization I work with in Kenya is launching our biggest fund raiser in cyberspace.
When Global Interfaith Partnership started its Umoja Project in Chulaimbo, Kenya, teachers and guardians there identified hunger as the primary problem affecting students’ attendance and academic performance. Since 2008 we’ve had a school lunch program feeding 3,200 students in 18 schools, ensuring that each child receives one nutritious meal a day.
Our goal this fall is to raise $25,000 for the 2017 school lunch program.
I have seen the results of the this program, in the eyes of children eating the maize and beans they receive for lunch, in the teacher's pride while showing the rising test scores since our program came to their school, and in the relief of guardians when they can be assured their charges will be able to continue their education with full stomachs.
You don't have to be Jewish to feel motivated to share your abundance and you don't need a holiday to help feed hungry children. So here is a simple opportunity to do that, from the comfort of you mobile devise, and your own home. Twenty-five dollars will feed one child, for a year. And by doing so you give that child an education, increased safety and a sense of hope for the future. But if all my friends give $5.00 each I will reach my goal and then some. Help me make one small impact on a world that needs good news. Help me celebrate in November that we can continue the work we have been doing for 10 years.