Some people may be wondering: what exactly IS “Youth Against Hunger? Well, it all started like this. Youth in Washington Heights are continually exposed to poverty, crime and hunger. However, we remain highly desensitized as a culture and have difficulty feeling accountable to the injustice at our doorstep. Last year, FWCC youth organized and stocked a small food pantry that serves as a distribution point for communities of homeless people living under our highways & bridges, struggling addicts and other people in need of food support. This effort has inspired us to take more of an intentional and measurable approach to fighting the condition of hunger in the Heights. It’s for this reason why a benefit event to raise both awareness and provide tangible resources for those in need seemed like a great idea. At Fort Washington Church, we serve an annual community meal for the hungry on the Monday before Thanksgiving. At these meals we also give away care packages of cans and other dry goods to those in need. This year, we hope to bless people with an abundance in support as we collect cans for this event. As an artist/minister it’s sometimes difficult to comprehend how God desires to utilize our gifting. One thing that I am both convinced and convicted of is that our performing arts gifting should bring justice and healing to a broken world. Last Saturday, I was serving as a volunteer for World Vision trying to find sponsors for HIV affected children from all over Africa. The event featured Israel Houghton and the New Breed live in concert and I was surprised and humbled to see what the power of music can do. During the event Israel compelled the audience to sponsor children, interrupting his set to show a video of his band traveling to meet sponsored children of their own; what an amazing sight. As I ran frantically up and down the aisle trying to get sponsor form to those who were bold enough to accept the challenge, I felt God speaking to me. What if we as gifted children of God used our talents to advance God’s kingdom instead of building our own little ministry empires? What if when we rallied youth together it was about more than just a Christian Party? What if we rallied youth together to actually practice our faith and serve the marginalized as Christ did? I believe the Kingdom of God would be revealed sooner to us as our faith would take a posture that would activate global change. We may not eliminate hunger in the Heights on November 12th, but we will activate teens to truly become missional and serve those who have a space in the heart of God. Let’s Fight Back against Hunger in 2010!