Dad, daughter celebrate by helping
Wheeling Saturday, 8/18/12 Fifteen-year-old, Charlotte Thompson and her father, Chris Thompson pack food for "Feed My Starving Children" at Priester Aviation in Wheeling Saturday. The Thompson's live in Minneapolis, but are originally from Deerfield. Chris Thompson is the national development director for "Feed My Starving Children." | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 27, 2012 8:06AM
DEERFIELD — Charlotte Thompson has already selected her iTunes play list for her “Sweet 16” party.
She grew up in Deerfield but moved away last year. So she returned to see local friends from Deerfield High School and Christ Church Lake Forest.
She already has 116,000 presents picked out — MannaPackRice, formulated single packets of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and chicken flavored nutrients.
“I’m all around excited,” she said last week from her new home in Coon Rapids, Minn. “It’s really about sending 116,000 meals to kids who wouldn’t have them and saving lives.”
Her celebration — combined with a commemoration of her mother Lisa’s passing last year — may seem unusual but not for Feed My Starving Children, a Christian-based nonprofit that specializes in feeding starving children. Volunteers often celebrate important occasions at packing sessions.
“The whole idea is to show how enjoyable it is to do something for someone else on a major occasion, birthdays, anniversaries ... we’ve had wedding receptions and bar mitzvahs,” said her father Chris Thompson, national development director.
Last weekend, Feed My Starving Children held what it calls a mobile pack event at Chicago Executive Airport, in Wheeling, at Priester Aviation’s Hangar #9.
The goal was to pack 116,000 meals, which will feed about 317 children for a year, organizers say. Packing included filling the packets, putting them into boxes and loading them onto trucks.
The event was expected to attract 500 volunteers, including employees of Allstate, Banco Popular and Motorola.
It also featured Charlotte’s iTunes playing “upbeat” music and volunteers were able to buy goods from countries it serves.
More than the satisfaction of knowing they are feeding starving children, volunteers said the event allows them to have fun.
“It’s like a carnival,” Chris Thompson said. “(But) This is a pretty dramatic experience that permanently affects people’s hearts and souls. You are getting involved in life or death matters.”
Feed My Starving Children has permanent sites in Schaumburg and Aurora. Another is planned in November for Libertyville. But this is a mobile pack event.