Generation Alive stages Something to Eat events two to three times a month. They are so fulfilling. They give kids a chance to say, "We're going to help someone who needs to be helped." That's the greatest thing. These kids show completely selfless love.
Our first one, in 2011, changed my life. It was an all-day event in January and several hundred people showed up for it. Everyone worked together in teams to package kits for complete meals. Each kid who came was directly involved. One kid would hold a bag under a funnel. Another would pour some protein powder in. The next kid would pour in some dried vegetables, and then the next one would pour in some vitamin powder. The last thing to get poured in was rice.
Next, someone would check the weight of the bag, because it had to weigh a certain amount for shipping. If it weighed too much, they took a little rice out, and if it weighed too little, they added a little rice in. Then the next kid would take the bag and hold it under a heat sealer, and the next one would seal it. Then they'd stack the bags for boxing.
You add this meal kit to boiling water and you get all the nutrients you need for the day. Hungry kids in places like Haiti eat these meals and their health really improves. Their hair and nails grow back, their eyesight improves, and they do better in school because they can think properly. These meals are helping their bodies do what they need to do.
From start to finish, it takes two minutes to make a meal kit that restores life to someone dealing with hunger. Each kid in a group took part in preparing each bag, and each bag held six meals. Twelve kids would touch the same bag, and know that they were a part of all six meals.
We told the kids, "Write whatever you want on the box. Write a positive message." And these boxes were covered in messages. "God loves you," they wrote. "We pray for you." "We love you." "We care about you." They drew pictures! It was awesome, just to see them waiting for their turn. They worked hard, enjoyed the work, and wanted to do more.
You just can't imagine how fulfilling and uplifting it is to spend a day with kids who are willing to work hard to help strangers! A lot of them shared that they want to do this all their lives, and even do it for a living. That makes me think about God's call and our response.
Jeremy is a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, co-founder of Generation Alive, an author of To Stir a Movement, Life, Justice and Major League Baseball. Follow @JeremyAffeldt on Twitter.