Some children in Lake County are hungry -- Not just a little hungry, but really hungry.|
To combat that problem, a few kind souls in the Madison area are putting forth efforts to get those youngsters fed.
"It's sad to think of kids that don't get to eat," said Toni Harmdierks of Madison.
Some of the stories Harmdierks has heard really touch her heart. At the recent 25-Cent Event that benefitted the Kids' Pantry Program, Harmdierks was told a story about a local child who had come to school grumpy and unhappy. When asked what was wrong, the child said, "I was the one that didn't get to eat last night."
So that every child gets to eat every night, Harmdierks is sponsoring a rummage sale this weekend for the Kids' Pantry Program, which provides weekend meals for Lake County children during the school year.
Harmdierks is a busy, working mom of a one-year-old and a baby on the way, but she thinks it's "very much worth the time and energy."
She had the idea last year and put in the effort to host a small rummage sale, assembled in about a week. This year, she had nine months to plan and has gathered the help of friends and donations from the community for the event.
With the extra time, it has grown into a rummage sale/bake sale/lemonade stand this weekend at her home west of Madison.
Another volunteer is Amanda Klawonn, who is taking on the bake sale part of the fund-raiser. She will be bringing cereal bars, cookies, cupcakes, canned pickles and jellies, homemade bread, muffins and some silent auction baskets. She, too, feels the work is worth it. As an elementary education/special education major at Dakota State University, she said, "Kids are close to my heart."
The meals provided by the Kids' Pantry Program are nutritious and something children can easily open or prepare, such as fresh fruit, juice boxes, granola bars, macaroni and cheese, or cans of soup, said board member Kim Wermers.
The program began five years ago and has grown every year, now serving students in preschool through 2nd grade at Head Start, Madison Elementary, Oldham-Ramona and Rutland schools.
When asked about the efforts of people like Harmdierks and Klawonn, Wermers said, "It's wonderful that a lot of people take this program to heart."
There is a definite need, she said. The program is open to all children from preschool through 2nd grade, with no income requirements.
"It is wonderful for the community," Wermers said.
Harmdierks said people are welcome to stop by and shop, or stop by and volunteer to help at the sale, at 45272 234th St.
The rummage sale will be held Friday from 3-7 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 12-3 p.m.
On Sunday, everything will be half price, or bring three canned goods and fill a bag for free. There is no limit on the number of canned goods, Harmdierks said.