Youth group to ‘Fast for Food’ |

Youth group to ‘Fast for Food’

Sally J. Taylor
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

While their peers are hanging out and munching out, on March 19-20, 12-15 teens from First Christian Church along with volunteers from Carson City schools will be hanging out and not eating.

The “Fast for Food” campaign is a fundraiser for Carson City’s Food 4 Thought program. The teens and pre-teens are seeking pledges for the 30-hour fast that begins at 1 p.m. Friday and concludes at 7 p.m. Saturday after they serve dinner at the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission.

“They’ll see and smell the food but can’t have it,” said January Hurlbert, wife and co-organizer with youth-group leader Micheal Hurlbert. “It strengthens them.”

Denying themselves isn’t new to the youth group. For the past several years, they have participated in the “30-Hour Famine” campaign for World Vision. But this year, they wanted to raise funds to help people in their own community.

January Hurlbert volunteers with Food 4 Thought, which puts together weekend meal bags for students who get meals at school during the week but may go hungry all weekend. Her experience helped the couple, and the youth group, see the problem of homelessness and hunger in Carson City.

“This is a weekly thing for a lot of kids,” she said. For the youth group “their pain only lasts 30 hours.”

Celina Fecanin, 18, a senior at Carson High School, took on organizing the fasting fundraiser as her senior project. She has participated in previous 30-Hour Famine projects.

“It’s a great activity and responsibility because I can be the leader to my other peers and help the youth past (the hunger) and work with them,” she said.

The hungry teens will gather at the church for the weekend to help support – and distract – each other from being hungry.

“I hope all goes well and everyone will appreciate it and take it seriously,” Fecanin concluded.

Jessica Garnett, a 17-year-old senior from Carson High School, also participated in previous 30-Hour Famine fundraisers but felt fundraising for her own community would “drive the point home more.”

In Carson City alone “400 people will go hungry tonight,” she said of the statistics she researched. “One is too many.

“If I can starve for 30 hours and that’s my cost to help kids, I’m all for it.”

Anthony Bachmann, 17, a junior at CHS, is also a veteran at fasting to help others.

“I know it’s going to be fun this year,” he said. “We have a bunch of creative kids with creative ways to keep our minds off being hungry and focused on goals.”

Christopher Rose is the youngest fasting volunteer. The 11-year-old from Carson Middle School recently joined the church and wanted to be part of what was going on there.

“I’m putting my gut to the test and we’ll see how long I can last,” he said. “I’m doing it for the church and just thought it would be a cool experience.”

Youth Pastor Micheal Hurlbert is proud of his group.

“I think it’s really cool how the teenagers pull together and do this. They have a lot of friends in school who jumped behind the project like this even though they starve themselves. … The teenagers in Carson really got behind it.”

Anyone who would like to make a pledge for the Fast for Food project can call the church at 883-4836, or go the Web site at http://www.firstchristian