The Mini-Famine


By Kali DiMarco

mini-photo-for-mini-famineWe began doing the 30 Hour Famine in 2004 and they have steadily grown over time. From the start, the younger parishioners were very intrigued and by the third year they were biting at the bit to be part of the weekend. They wanted to do more than bring in cans of food and pray for the older kids. So, in 2006 we took yet another “leap of faith” and included 6th and 7th graders for 11 hours of our Famine. We called it the “Mini-Famine.” But there was nothing mini about them!

We thought we were just including some kids. We could not have been more wrong. This younger group has brought a dimension that we had not planned for. They are included in our opening one-mile walk and hear our guest speaker. Then they break off and have their own time together to play some games and learn more about hunger and social justice. They come back together with the larger group for a midday prayer. The first time they walked into this group, the older kids spontaneously gave them a standing ovation. What a sight! Again, when we dismissed them, the older kids yelled encouraging words, thanked them and gave them tons of “high-fives.” The little guys became cult heroes and you could see it in their steps. They had an eagerness and energy that spilled over to the rest of us. Unbeknownst to us, the younger group made special gifts and left them for the older kids before they left for the evening.

A couple of years into this we decided that we would bring the high school group to the closing of the Mini-Famine. The younger kids read some of their reflections and we could not believe how much this affected the older teens. Perhaps the biggest surprise to all of us was the amount of money the younger students raised. Consistently over the last 8 years, a “Mini-Faminer” has been in the top three fundraisers.

So, what was bound to happen? As the Famine grew, the kids who were too young for the Mini-Famine began to get vocal, wanting to know why they couldn’t “Do the Famine.” What did we do? We now have a “Micro-Mini 5’s-for-5” aspect of our Famine. This year, we had twelve of our fifth-graders join in the effort for a 5-hour Famine. They were amazing! Two of them were in the top three fundraisers and one of them raised the most money of all 200 participants! The only complaint was that their time was too short – and they are already for next year when they will move up to the Mini. We have a standing joke now that within a few years we will have the babies of the parish wanting their own “Infant-Famine”. God is Good.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.   1 Timothy 4:12