On Friday, October 12th, fifteen UVM FeelGooders headed south to New York City to attend the 2012 Hunger Summit. Over 60 FeelGooders from over 15 (of 27) chapters got together with FeelGood4Life members (alumni) and FeelGood World staff for what was an incredible, inspiring programming based on the theme of ‘Investing in the End of Hunger’ through a weekend of events.
The Hunger Summit started with a gathering of attendees to connect with other chapters and share each person’s FeelGood Love Story. Many changemakers told the story of how they became involved with FG, what initially made them stay and what makes them stay committed to living an inspired life. The evening ended in order for everyone to get back to the hotel and get to bed early, there was a lot planned for Saturday!
Saturday was full of happenings as a ton of FeelGooders met up early for breakfast and a discussion on why it is important to Invest in World Hunger led by FGW. Shortly after, a long time investor of The Hunger Project came to speak with FG about why THP is different than other organizations, how she has seen that and what makes her continue partnering with THP year after year.
The group left the Teach For America offices (an incredible, functional space graciously lent to FG by TFA for the weekend programming!!) and headed to The Hunger Project’s Symposium. The annual investors meeting was full of information. We heard from Dr. Nuné Mangasaryan, Senior Advisory for Infant and Young Nutrition at UNICEF, who spoke about the importance of adequate nutrition in the first 1,000 days from conception until a child is two years old. THP Country Directors from Bangladesh and Benin offered instances where THP is using this information to improve health in their countries. There was a major trend of speakers sharing how it is critical to have development strategies that are led by natives of the country in order to see long term success. THP Executive Vice President, John Coonrod, discussed the pressing 2015 Millennium Development Goals and the urgency of chronic, persistent hunger globally.
Our afternoon included a lecture from author of the book Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein. He spoke about how each individual has gifts that they offer the world and the problems our generations and future generations will face that have never been issues before. He was a captivating speaker and left us feeling refreshed to take on challenges as changemakers.
The group then headed to Chelsea Piers for The Hunger Project’s Fall Gala. The theme of this year’s annual event was ‘Making the Vision Real’ which really came to life when we heard the featured speakers. Sarmi Bai spoke proudly as an elected official in her country, India. Next we watched as a nurse from an epicenter in Uganda told us about the importance of maternal and infant care in Africa, via a video message. FeelGooders were all in for a surprise when the following speaker, Lorena Vazquez, country director for Mexico was introduced by the founder of FG, Kristin Walter. Each of the speakers motivated the audience to do all they can in order to help our human family reach their full potential. Dinner and dancing followed and it seemed as though all in attendance had an excellent time. The fall event was a success, as it raised over a million dollars for the sustainable end of world hunger.
(a group of FeelGooders from many chapters pose on the red carpet)
Marisa, Julia, Dory, Ali and Grace pose with Rahki (center) from Columbia University FG at the Gala
UVM FeelGood President and Vice President, Chris Joy and Darcy Glenn, at the Gala
After a long night of dancing and impressing many THP investors with our dedication, FeelGooders met up Sunday to discuss the importance in investing in changemakers with Kern from FGW. The way it works is that money is invested into FeelGood World, who then invests the money into FeelGood chapters, and in return each chapter produces funds to donate to FG partner organizations. If FeelGood was eliminated and the money went straight to partner organizations, a critical step in ending the world’s most pressing issues would be skipped- creating changemakers who engage in dialogues DAILY to raise awareness of partnership rather than charity, become leaders in their communities and learn to become entrepreneurs. For FeelGood each dollar raised is worth much more, it is worth a conversation, a new idea or a symbol of a generation’s new way of thinking.
For those who attended, many enjoyed connecting with members from other chapters and getting tips or sharing UVM FG’s best practices. Some members reconnected with FeelGooders they had met at other Peak Experiences like the Big Cheese Summer Training or last year’s Hunger Summit. Members were very impressed by THP’s plans for this year that were expressed at the symposium and that was their most memorable experience. The Gala was definitely an event to remember for most FeelGooders, especially the way FG is so highly regarded and other investors are so impressed by what college students are achieving for our partnership. The speakers for the FG Investing in World Hunger series also offered inspiration that each chapter can take back to their campus. In conclusion, the weekend provided inspiration, reassurance and nurtured the bond that all FeelGooders share. The Hunger Summit weekend was truly an incredible experience!