Inspired by hunger pains Beth felt while on a mission trip to Uganda in 2019, this initiative is both a hunger awareness event and a fundraiser. The first annual “R-Fast” will be held on 4/29/20. Every person on the planet who eats (i.e. everyone) is encouraged to participate.
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About Rotary Fast
Hunger pains are rare feelings for most humans who don’t reside in third world countries or in impoverished areas. But they are a seemingly never-ending feeling for many citizens of the world. On April 29th of each year starting in 2020, Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike will pledge $10 and commit to fasting from midnight to midnight. “R-Fast” will raise funds to feed the poor and raise awareness about the hunger crisis in the USA and abroad. Supporters who feel compelled to participate in the endeavor but do not wish to fast will pledge double the amount ($20) and may eat normally.
It’s Beth’s hope that this joint WHAT MATTERS and Rotary Club of the Northern Shenandoah Valley initiative will cause people to make time to ponder the hunger crisis that exists in this wonderful world that has plenty for all if we would learn to more effectively share our resources.
Rotary clubs can create their own fundraising mechanisms to collect the donations for the event independently but must report (by April 30th) the amount they collected on the website: whatmattersw2.com/fundraising/RotaryFast (click on the report funds collected tab).
Clubs may also direct participants to www.whatmattersw2.com/donate where contributors can donate through PayPal and receive a tax deductible receipt from WHAT MATTERS (a PayPal account is not required). Participants should click on the appropriate donation amount ($10, $20 or a custom amount) and select the cause “Rotary Fast”-fasting participant or “Rotary Fast” non-fasting supporter. In the “other” section people are encouraged to leave a message about which club/district/community told them about the initiative or any other comment they wish to share. One hundred percent of donations received into the WHAT MATTERS account will be passed on, through Rotary International, to support endeavors to lessen the hunger crisis. Of the raised funds, 50% of donations will be directed to support programs/initiatives in the USA and 50% will be funneled to global hunger endeavors.
Volunteers and clubs supporting the initiative are encouraged to find creative ways to embrace the day as a way to raise funds for local and global hunger and also spread awareness about hunger issues around the world.
Why April 29th?
On 4/29/1945, Beth’s grandfather, John W. Affleck, was liberated from a WWII German POW Camp. While in captivity, the young waist gunner kept a journal on the back of cigarette wrappers he collected from friends which she considers one of her most prized possessions. His writings included recipes and menus he longed to eat if he were to ever be released.
Beth has continued to celebrate the day as a favorite family holiday since her grandfather’s sudden death in 1993, when she was a senior in high school. His premature death was deemed to be caused by cardiac defects that were a side effect of his starvation while in captivity. The stories he told of his time in the war and in prison camp as well as his commitment to life-long volunteering (as a way to express his gratitude for surviving the traumatic experience) is what laid the foundation for Beth’s life of volunteerism.