After approximately 8 months of planning, preparation, meeting, scheduling, raising funds, and organizing an event we had never done before – how on earth do we do it justice in words?  Here we go…

JCR hosts many events at our facility – in our auditorium, in our warehouse space, and in our lunch and learn room.  We’ve been there, done that.  This was different.

This was big.

This wasn’t just any other event where we made sure everyone was comfortable, had food and drink, and any AV/IT needs taken care of.

This had a greater impact.  On people we’ve never met, nor will probably ever meet.  Little ones.  Little ones that have hard lives in far away places.  Little ones that need help from people like us.

JCR committed to hosting a Feed My Starving Children MobilePack event at our building over a year ago – with the promise to pack 100,000 meals.  We had the room, we had the resources.

We said, let’s do this.

(Wait, what’s a MobilePack?) FMSC MobilePack programs connect volunteers from across the United States to children across the world – by packing meals at various off-campus locations.  In this case, our JCR campus.

Ok, now that we got that straight…

JCR developed a team of 20 people to coordinate everything, from communicating directly with the FMSC MobilePack planning staff, to determining how many tables & supplies we needed, to the schedule of the day, to how many cars would fit in our parking lot at one time (so we could squeeze as many volunteer packers as we could in here!), and finally, to doing FMSC justice…at our house.

After we raised the money to cover the cost of 100,000 meals, through internal and external efforts, and our generous sponsor partners, the day finally came.  June 3 was here. Time to pack.

Packing stations were in place.  Team t-shirts were crisp and folded. Food and drink for volunteers was set out. Our team was ready.

People packed our space – internal staff, friends, family members, business associates, clients, and strangers (who would soon become friends).

After viewing a moving introduction video courtesy of Feed My Starving Children, and putting on their hairnets, our packers made their way into our warehouse and started to pack to the sounds of lively music and the buzz of 150 of their closest buddies for the next couple hours.  Everyone was on the same mission: to help #feedthekids.

What is it that we packed?  FMSC supplies what they call MannaPack meals – specially formulated blends of rice, soy, veggies and vitamins, designed to save the lives of severely malnourished and starving children, and improve the health, growth and physical well-being of children who are no longer in immediate danger of starvation.

There were 3 packing sessions – and each one superseded the last. We were consistently ahead of the packing goals – and well on our way to reaching our 100k goal that we committed to.

There was laughter, dancing, and friendly competition among packing stations.  Who could pack the fastest?  Who could pack the most boxes? It was awesome.

Finally, Danny, our FMSC MobilePack leader, announced our final numbers at the end of session 3.

512. 540. 116,640. 319.

What?

512 total volunteers. 540 boxes packed. 116,640 total meals.

Enough to feed 319 (!) children every day, for an entire year.  Wow.

All 116,640 meals went to Jamaica through FMSC’s partner Food For The Poor. This organization provides many different services to the poor in Central America. Food For The Poor has been working in Jamaica since 1982 and has built over 40,000 homes for the needy and uses FMSC food as a resource to feed thousands each day as a part of their programs. For more information, visit foodforthepoor.org

“Being on the committee for FMSC was truly an experience I will never forget. Never have I seen so many smiling faces in one room; from the elbow bumps (because we all had gloves on) to the awesome dance moves and just overwhelming amount of joy pouring out of the room was incredible to witness. Seeing all different groups of people come together for the common goal of feeding kids was truly amazing and refreshing and I cannot wait for round 2 next year! #116,640 #JCRLOVESTHEKIDS”Lauren, JCR

“The FMSC Mobile Pack at J.C. Restoration was such an amazing experience for all. The energy and love that filled the building was contagious. It brought the employees of J.C. Restoration and all that participated closer as we encouraged each other to pack more food; to feed more children that depend on FMSC! To know that we packed 116,640 meals, and to know that we made such an impact on so many lives is such a blessing. I personally cannot wait to participate in another FMSC event!”Alaina, JCR

Thank you to our amazing sponsors and food/beverage partners!

Sponsors: Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Hillcrest Property Management, Wine Sergi Insurance, IIA of Illinois, TW Group, Inc, Lincoln Property Company, Applied Communications Group, 1-800-BOARDUP, and JC Embroidery.

Food/Beverage: Moretti’s, Deli-Time, Jersey’s Pizza & Grill, Starbucks, and The Mug

Please visit our Facebook page for more photos and videos from this amazing day!

About FMSC: Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian non-profit organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: volunteers hand-pack meals specially formulated for malnourished children, and we send them to mission partners running orphanages, schools, clinics and feeding programs around the world. FMSC food has reached nearly 70 countries in their history.  For more information, visit fmsc.org.