Rockford’s First Free Church, 2223 N. Mulford Road, is a long way from West Africa, but knowing of the devastating outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the congregation has stepped up to lend a hand.
As populations swell in the cities where health care centers are located, a growing food shortage has emerged. This crisis is multiplied because of quarantined areas, abandoned farms without laborers, vacant markets with no food to sell, and fear of contagion by the general public. While medical efforts attack the disease, a rapidly developing struggle against malnutrition and starvation has begun.
The congregation at First Free Church, with Sr. Pastor Rusty Hayes, are partnering together with Kids Around the World, a well-known nonprofit organization that builds playgrounds around the world, even some right here in Rockford.
Through the OneMeal program, organizations can “Love Liberia,” as Kids Around the World coordinate with their partners in Liberia to distribute food as soon as it arrives.
The food packets being sent include rice, soy for protein, six dehydrated vegetables, and 21 nutrients and vitamins, all formulated to reverse the effects of malnutrition.
First Free Church has two ways people can help. Donations are being taken to raise the money to pay for the meals, or people can sign up to help pack the meals that will be shipped. A shipment is leaving for Liberia in February, so packing will be Jan. 24 and 25 at the church. Volunteer packing space is limited, so pre-registration is required.
Donations and packing registration will be done online. Visit the church website at firstfreerockford.org. Contact Steve Cooper at First Free Church at (815) 877-7046 for more information.
From the Jan. 7-13, 2015, issue