Emily Morris, a high school student from Nevada, held a successful fundraiser in her community to help women and children in desperate need of food assistance in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa. She had this to say about her experience: "I found out that even if I am still young, I can do things for others near or far." She is right, every little bit goes a long way in the fight against global hunger.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your passion for music.
A: I began singing as soon as I could speak, or so I am told. My parents always had music playing, all styles and genres. My father would play guitar, and I would dance and sing while he played his favorite rock and roll song. Music has always lifted me up, and made me feel good -- especially when I could belt out a favorite soul or blues song. Singing is part of me.
Q: What inspired you to join the fight against global hunger?
A: There was a moment back July 2011 when I was watching a documentary about the famine in Somalia. The story was about a mother who was forced to leave her home in search of food with her three small children. All of them were starving, but one of the children was near death and worse off than the others. She decided she had to leave the child behind in order to save her other two children. I was shocked to think that there are people today on this planet who have to make a decision like that. I knew at that moment I wanted to do something -- even if it was small.
Q: You organized a successful fundraiser for WFP USA in November called “Sing for Somalia.” Tell us about this event.
A: My idea about the Sing for Somalia/Fill the Cup mini concert came about because of the story I heard back in July. I wanted to do something, anything, to help.
Q: What was your favorite moment during “Sing for Somalia.”
A: My favorite part of the night was when a friend of mine who was the MC reminded the audience to keep passing the cups. There was one lady in particular who ran from one cup to another loading change into them! It made me smile, and I knew every cent she donated was going to help feed another person.
Q: During your planning for “Sing for Somalia,” you became WFP USA Coins 4 Kids volunteer coordinator. How did the Coins 4 Kids kit help you raise additional funds for WFP School Meals in Kenya?
A: I loved the idea of the using the symbolic red cup as a visual way to collect funds. I also knew that every penny collected would help feed a child. WFP USA sent me a great kit! I placed the stand-up display in a popular performing arts studio, there I also attached flyers about the event coming up and informational handouts about the issue of hunger. Students, parents and teachers all donated change. I also took some of the cups and placed them in small businesses around town, along with the information handouts, the results were great donations. The kit made it easy for me to relay information to donors and performers who were donating time at the event.
Q: What did you find rewarding about volunteering with WFP USA?
A: The reward in helping comes from knowing that every donation large or small will feed somebody. I found out that even if I am still young, I can do things for others near or far.