SHEF fights hunger in community, world

Every Thursday morning at 7:20, students of all walks of life from grades 9 through 12 join together in room 107 (Mr. Mooney’s room) for SHEF (Students Helping to Eliminate Famine) under the fearless leadership of juniors Jessica Oster, Krishna Prabhu, and Alissa Struble. According to its members, SHEF’s purpose is twofold. “High school students today either don’t care or don’t know about those who are less fortunate,” Prabhu said. “They go about their daily lives complaining about inconveniences when they don’t really know how lucky they are. SHEF is aimed at changing this, while helping those in need.” How does SHEF do this? “This year, we are trying to help out with eliminating famine on a local as well as on an international scale,” Oster said. “Our biggest project last semester– which we’re finishing up this semester– is providing a foundation of emergency financial aid for a group called Niños del Camino in the Dominican Republic.” Niños del Camino is an organization to which children and adolescents can go to receive help on all levels of need while living on the streets. “Our goal is to raise $5000, and we’re nearly there. We’ve been using fundraisers– from bake sales to concerts– meant to raise money as well as raise awareness around the community, which is equally important,” Oster said. The $5000 that SHEF is donating will go to an emergency fund which is used to get children to a hospital and pay for their care if they suffer from a serious injury. Members of SHEF donate their time on a local level, as well. “Living in Ames, we rarely see poverty-stricken areas other than what is on TV,” Struble said. “Therefore, we are involved in volunteering in the soup kitchen at First Christian Church and at the MICA food pantry so that our members can get a better sense of the problems here and can help fight hunger in a more hands-on way.” This semester, SHEF plans to support the Africa trip with awareness, fund raisers, and anything geared toward helping out its fellow human beings. SHEF also plans on having food drives and brown bag lunches and continuing to volunteer at a local level. “SHEF is always looking for more members, and everyone is welcome at the meetings,” Struble said. SHEF meets Thursday mornings in room 107, and anyone interested in helping fight against hunger both locally and globally is encouraged to attend.