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EDITORIAL: Packing event took everyone's breath away

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away."

Author unknown

Anyone who participated in last weekend's Feed My Starving Children mobile packing event in New Richmond certainly had their breath taken away.

Inside the Community Commons gym, numerous packing stations were filled with volunteers busily working to create ready-to-prepare meals that will eventually be shipped to countries where children die daily due to malnutrition. The energy was high in the gym, as music kept volunteers pumped and ready to pack. Each station let out a yell after another box of 36 packages was completed.

In the end, some 241,000 meals were assembled, sealed and boxed up. Approximately 1,117 volunteers from the region took part in the effort on Friday and Saturday, according to organizers.

When one thinks about the important moments in life, often they boil down to attempts to help and reach out to others. The important moments do not often revolve around us and our own personal desires.

For a brief moment in time this past weekend, hundreds of New Richmond area volunteers (from ages 5 all the way up to 80 and beyond) took time out of their busy schedules to lend a helping hand to others. Instead of sitting on a lawn chair, lounging on the beach or trolling the local golf course, they invested time to help kids they will never know.

As a result of the two-day packing event, according to Feed My Starving Children estimates, more than 650 children will now have at least one nutritious meal a day for an entire year. And it means those 650+ youngsters, in such places as Haiti and Nicaragua, will avoid certain death or serious illness that comes as a result of poor nutrition.

We applaud the Rotary Club of New Richmond, Faith Community Church, business partners, individuals and other churches in the area who supported and helped out at the MannaPack gathering. Knowing that you played a role in saving a small portion of the world's most vulnerable population should take your breath away.

We encourage others to look for similar opportunities to help others during these summer months. Feed My Starving Children is coming to other communities across western Wisconsin in the coming months. Other aid organizations in the Twin Cities area are also looking for volunteers to help those who are less fortunate. If you answer the call, we're sure your soul will be buoyed by your choice to serve others.