Guest Blogger: Chellsea LaBarge is a student at ASU studying Non Profit and Leadership Management. She has spent the past several months learning and contributing to FH as an intern in the Phoenix office.
Growing up, my childhood was spent in the small town of Surprise, Arizona. My family moved to the city during its stages of early development. My earliest memories of Surprise are comprised of the cool Spring nights when my mother left the windows open so we could enjoy the clean air and smell of citrus blossoms, the red-roofed school building that I attended for eight years, and the tight-knit community of people that I grew up with.
I attended the same school from kindergarten through eighth grade. After eighth grade promotion, I had my choice between one of the two local high schools at the time. My worldview consisted of the 69.5 square miles of my hometown and the community I had spent nearly my whole life in — beyond that was the mysterious unknown. The idea that there were children and individuals all over the world with different environments and experiences did not cross my mind often.
It was not until college that I began to venture out on a regular basis, which was when I started to realize there is much more to the world than Surprise, Arizona.
A growing worldview
During my college career I had the enlightening opportunity to work with a culturally diverse group of students and staff. Learning about new traditions, tasting exotic flavors of foreign cuisine, and hearing the experiences of others from various backgrounds made me appreciate and hunger to know more about the world. It was as if a blindfold was removed and my mind expanded into desiring to know about various areas, people and ways of life.
Through my exploration of various cultures, I stumbled upon many notable treasures. For example, Kenya produces some of the best coffee I have ever tasted. The flavor is rich, bold and unique. The smell tantalizes your senses. Incredible.
Another gem I have become aware of are the saris women wear in Bangladesh. A sari is a brightly colored dress-like piece of clothing. The women that design and create them are artists. Each one an absolute beauty.
Each day there is something new to be learned, another story to be heard and another culture to experience. Part of my journey and exploration of other cultures has been through my volunteer work at Food for the Hungry (FH). I have now had the opportunity to volunteer in the Child Sponsorship Office as well as do my senior internship within the Marketing Communication Department. My time at FH has taught me a great deal about the needs and beauty of the world.
Food for the Hungry recognizes human potential through Christ and is working to give everyone the opportunity to discover and harness their talents to help their families and communities over come poverty. The work that FH is doing in other countries inspires hope. Instead of blanketing solutions, FH creates programming that is tailored uniquely to the area to meet the greatest needs first. Do you want to be a part of the growth? Check out ways you can help a family or child around the globe reach their full potential at https://fh.org/give.