What’s unusual about Charles being troubled by food insecurity is that he is so young, having just graduated high school. Of course, he is occupied by the things other teens are—preparing for college, playing varsity tennis, achieving his Eagle Scout award, and making time for his girlfriend. But when Charles learned that so many people go hungry in the world while Americans waste so much food, he felt compelled to do something.

In fact, he did many things, which led him to raise over $17,000 for Frederick Rescue Mission.

For his project in the leadership program at Oakdale High School, Charles originally intended to send food to Ethiopia.  However, he was discouraged when he learned of the overwhelming cost of shipping food overseas. That’s when he recalled having volunteered at the Mission, and he knew he could address local hunger. Charles contacted grocery stores and other food-related businesses in the area, raising over $5,000 in money and gift cards over the summer.

Inspired by his success and the community’s generosity, Charles formed a club at school called Feed Frederick. To his delight, more than 50 students joined to collect food and donations for Frederick Rescue Mission. The students decorated donation boxes and placed them throughout the schools in their district. In addition to all the food collected, they have raised more than $10,000! 

When Charles was nominated to compete in the annual Mr. Oakdale contest because of his leadership potential, he initially declined. He feared that he did not have time to spend a week raising awareness and financial support for the Mission. However, his teacher was persistent, and Charles agreed to represent Frederick Rescue Mission in the contest by wearing themed costumes and giving speeches, culminating in a Saturday night variety show. Although he did not  win the contest, he was glad he competed, having built lifelong memories and raising over $2,000 for the Mission!

When he first volunteered with us, he was moved by the guests who came in for food. Seeing the need first-hand  motivated him to do something. He knew he could not solve the entire hunger problem in Frederick County, but Charles knew he could make a difference.

Because this teenager rose up and took action, many hungry people are being fed every day.


If you would like to support the Mission, please visit our Giving or Current Needs pages.

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