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If You Can’t Feed 100, Feed Just One

By Meredith Hall, president of Committee of 19 at Auburn University

“If you can’t feed one hundred people, then feed just one.”

Being a part of Committee of 19 has made these words of Mother Theresa’s jump off the page and into the way I live my life. I truly believe every person has something to bring to the table to solve the global issue of hunger, and Committee of 19 provides an opportunity to do just that.

With a representative from each of Auburn’s twelve Schools and Colleges, we charge hunger from every front. While each College or School contributes with a project tailored to the skills of its students, I’m constantly encouraged by the unity we achieve when we work on campus-wide events such as Hunger Week or sponsoring a mobile Food Pantry.

What makes the unity happen?

I have often wondered this, because this organization is different from any other at its university. My best guess is that Committee of 19 brings together passionate people to be creative for their cause. Thinking outside of the box is not only accepted, but encouraged. If a College or a student wants to try a new project or tackle a new challenge, we embrace the efforts together. We have worked hard to create an environment where failure is hard to accomplish, because our ultimate goal, if we can’t feed the crowds, is to “feed just one”.  We learn together, we grow together and we advocate together with our unique skills and talents.

My best guess is that Committee of 19 brings together
passionate people to be creative for their cause.

Make listening a priority

Like many other student organizations, recruiting new members and retaining them has been one of our foremost ongoing challenges; therefore, listening to the student body should always be a priority. They’ll tell you how they want to get involved. We have found that students want more and more to actually get their hands dirty as opposed to just giving money for a cause. As long as meaningful work is happening, people are inevitably going to want to get involved.

As long as meaningful work is happening,
people are inevitably going to want to get involved.

The belief of students and leadership of previous students and faculty advisors have preserved the Committee of 19 for almost a decade, and I’m positive that as long as there are students on Auburn’s campus that want to raise a voice for hunger, Committee of 19 will continue for classes to come.  Though our membership has fluctuated over the years, we keep our purpose in mind, to “feed just one”.

 

Hall will graduate from Auburn University in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture. She plans to begin work toward earning a master’s degree in horticulture in the fall of 2015.