Case in point: Saturday, June 1, Kids’ Meals Houston held its “Hunger-Free Summer” kickoff, with free carnival activities and food for their clients. Sponsored by local owner/operators of McDonalds, it was staffed by many volunteers including sister missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who had signed up on JustServe.org.
Beth Harp, Executive Director of Kids’ Meals was on site for the festivities. “This summer we will be delivering 6,100 meals right to the doorsteps of hungry children that are living in neighborhoods all over our city. Anybody can help. You can go to JustServe.org or our website and sign up. Parents who have children can bring them along. If they aren’t able to reach the table to prepare the meals, they can decorate bags, or help with other little projects that we have. It is a community effort, and we thank everyone who helps out. We have had volunteers from your church come in and volunteer in the office, they have helped out with the lunch pack program and juice boxes. It’s been such a blessing that you have helped,” Harp said.
Sister Olivia Wade, Sister Tara Judkins, Sister Camdyn Barney and Sister McKenley Johnson serving in the Houston Texas South Mission were excited to be helping families at the event. “We have had the opportunity to serve here before. It’s a place we love to be – super fun to provide service for all these children,” Sister Wade said.
JustServe.org has been a free tool to link volunteers with organizations that need help for about five years. Houston Metro Area JustServe.org Specialist Linda Hayes commented on the growth she has seen in organizations posting opportunities and how easy it is now to use the app for individuals or groups.
“We have posted for Kids’ Meals for about 2 years now. JustServe.org is all about making it easy for people to be there for the community. There are so many wonderful agencies that have so many different ways to volunteer. The app on the phone is easy to use and you can go and see what’s available immediately, or you can plan ahead,” Hayes said.
Ashley Jackson, a Sugar Land mother of 4 boys ages 6, 10, 12, and 14 had heard of JustServe.org during the Hurricane Harvey cleanup effort in 2017. “I would love to use it this summer with my kids. My kids are at a great age to get out in the community and see how they can help. They might not see a need around them but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. If that website is there to make is easier for parents – that’s fantastic,” Jackson said.