Skylar [SJ], the 30 Hour Famine Intern, sat down with the newest member of our team, Dan [DB], and asked him a few questions about his life & time at World Vision. Here is a glimpse into the Famine team & why we are so excited to be welcoming Dan to the team!
SJ: I need to get this question out first…Has anyone ever mentioned to you that you look like a certain character from a classic sitcom? (Mathew Perry)
DB: George Clooney!? Haha, no… I know, I hear it quite often. You know it’s funny… A few years back when ‘Friends’ was really popular … I went down to the Paramount Studio lot in California, and there was a tour group who stopped and legitimately thought I was Matthew Perry, who plays Chandler Bing. So I was out there waving, pretending I was him. It was good fun. I’ve got a few stories like that.
SJ: Do you think you could win a celebrity look-a-like contest?
DB: I don’t know, what do you think?
SJ: Well, you’re known as World Vision’s very own Chandler Bing, so I’m going to go with a yes.
SJ: In all seriousness Dan, how long have you been with World Vision?
DB: Nearly seventeen years now.
SJ: Wow! What made you want to be part of the 30 Hour Famine team?
DB: Being part of a group of people involved in a national movement to inspire youth to feed hungry children overseas is exciting. I love that I get to be a part of the solution.
SJ: What’s your role in doing that?
DB: I’ve seen how we (World Vision) work around the world and how we tackle global hunger straight on. I want to connect our American youth to that, so they can be part of the solution. I see my job, in a way, as connecting students and empowering them to fight global hunger with us. It’s so meaningful and powerful, so to the best of my abilities I want to inspire them to help us.
SJ: That’s a big responsibility… and whoa! Speaking of big, that’s a big trophy you have on your desk… How’d you win that?
DB: Well, truth be told, it’s not my trophy.
SJ: So, you’re just the holder of the trophy?
DB: I’m the holder! World Vision has a golf league, and a good friend of mine won it and put it on my desk to inspire me to win it next year. I love golf. Not that many people know I play, though.
SJ: Have you gone 30 hours without food yet?
DB: I’ve never done it! You know, my wife and I were just talking about it the other day, and we are a bit worried because I’ve been tested and I’m borderline hypoglycemic, which is sugar-level related issue. I’m going to do it later this month, but I think it’s going to be difficult.
SJ: You know, you could always sacrifice something else, like give up your cell phone for 30 hours.
DB: I’m still going to give it a try! I’m just going to be smart about it. I’ll stay hydrated and monitor how I’m feeling.
SJ: That sounds like a good plan! So…rumor has it; you’re going overseas soon to see where Famine funds are working, have you done a trip like this before?
DB: Yeah, in my 16 years, I’ve taken a few trips with World Vision. We went to the Dominican Republic and what was specifically great about that trip is that we got to see World Vision projects that were just starting and some that were actually just ending. Seeing both was powerful! To see communities celebrate with hope because they received our help was great, and for me, I’ve worked here for so long, it really validated my work. We hear stories of impact, but to see it with my own eyes was powerful.
SJ: Is there a specific element of injustice that you are particularly passionate about?
DB: During the trips I’ve been on, I’ve always taken notice to the cultural differences of the roles women have. These women do a lot of the work around the homes and villages I’ve seen; they really are the backbone for the families. I want to do whatever I can to help them. In one specific case, I met this woman who was HIV positive. Many of her family members wanted nothing to do with her once they found out. But she was so strong. You could see such deep faith in her. World Vision was able to provide her with goats and she used them to support herself and her three children. Her children have healthcare and get to go to school all because of the goats she received and the income that they now received from breeding them and selling their milk.
SJ: What is something most people don’t know about you?
DB: I’ve lived in Seattle my whole life and I don’t like coffee. I drink Coke Zero!
SJ: What is your favorite part about the 30 Hour Famine?
DB: Honestly, my favorite part is… Trying to get everyone involved to know… ‘We did something to help change the world’. I want leaders and students to feel a sense of… ‘God has called us to this, and we will respond’.
SJ: Is there anything you would want to tell our students who are participating for the first time this month?
DB: Just embrace it all. Soak it all in and don’t skip out on anything.
SJ: Thank you for your time Dan, it’s been great.