From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Youth Quarters Project Supports Hunger Relief

Date Fri, 8 Aug 2003 10:42:15 -0500


August 7, 2003

Youth Quarters Project Supports Hunger Relief

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Participants at the Evangelical Lutheran
Church in America (ELCA) Youth Gathering in Atlanta July 16-20
and July 23-27 collected $667,000 for world hunger relief in a
"Quarters for Hunger" project.
     More than 40,000 high-school age and adult Lutherans
attended the Gathering in Atlanta.  The Gathering is held every
three years in various cities across the nation.
     "It was a joint effort among the Lutheran Youth
Organization, ELCA World Hunger Appeal and [Lutheran] Youth
Ministries," said Lita Johnson, director for World Hunger and
Disaster Appeals, ELCA Division for Congregational Ministries.
     Youth from across the church brought quarters to the
Gathering's Interaction Center in the Georgia World Congress
Center.  A Web camera showed the progress of the collection
online throughout the Gathering.
     The youth were able to place the quarters they brought into
the glass case where the quarters were being collected.  "We
wanted the kids to have a tangible, hands-on experience," Johnson
     The Quarters project supports hunger relief efforts around
the world, Johnson said.  "[The money] will go out as soon as it
comes in," she said.
     Money collected for the project will go to support a number
of relief efforts.  "It's going to be split," Johnson said.
"Half goes throughout the world.  The second half goes to Stand
With Africa."  Stand With Africa is a three-year campaign that
focuses on HIV/AIDS, food security, and peace and reconciliation.
It is coordinated by the ELCA World Hunger Program, Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) World Relief, and Lutheran World
Relief, the overseas relief and development agency of the ELCA
and LCMS.
     "In Stand With Africa, we recognize the catastrophe of
AIDS," Johnson said.  "To talk about hunger in Africa without
talking about AIDS is useless."
     Hunger relief efforts include providing food and shelter,
and breaking poverty cycles through a variety of projects, she
said.  Animal husbandry, education and wells for water are a few
of the projects that the money collected will support, Johnson
     "We want kids to understand that the church helps the whole
world, not just specific communities," Johnson said.  "We take a
comprehensive approach to hunger."
     Also included in these projects are small loans to help
families build upon their resources.  "It gives a place for
people to move out of subsistence into the market economy,"
Johnson said.
     Money from the Quarters project continues to come in from
congregations, she said.  During the gathering youth were
encouraged to stay active in hunger relief efforts and urged to
voice their concerns.
     "They have tremendous power," Johnson said.  "They have
economic power.  They have political power."

*Jessica A. Crane is completing her bachelor of arts degree at
Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn.  This summer she is an intern
with ELCA News and Media Production.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or

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