Student Ben Jones transferred to UTC only a few weeks ago and he already met new friends and found a sense of purpose from volunteering with Feed My Starving Children. The University partnered with the organization to hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children.

“Being so new to Chattanooga, I cannot thank Carol Oglesby [UTC Coordinator of Student Civic Engagement and Physical Health Education and Promotion in the Division of Student Development] enough for hooking me up with some awesome people and events to get me into the swing of things! I have a big passion for helping anyone in need and I can’t express the feeling that overtook me after last night. It felt so good to work with so many people from so many different backgrounds and ages,” he said.

According to Oglesby, more than 275 students volunteered to prepare thousands of meals. The meals will be shipped to nearly 70 countries around the world.

“There were always kids, teens, young adults, or older people smiling, laughing, or dancing to [the popular song] ‘Gangnam Style.’ After working the assembly line for a little over an hour and a half, the statistics that were given to us really hit home. Of the 18,000 people that die every day of starvation or malnourishment, we, as a team of about 320 working for less than two hours, fed a significant fraction of that number for a whole year,” Jones said.

Jones is thinking of joining the intramural rugby team after meeting some players during volunteering,

“I’m very glad I volunteered. Volunteering is an awesome way to meet new folks and give back some of your time to someone or something that may need it,” he said.

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