Clare Whitney, a Schroon Lake teen, poses with students from the Chiquilistagua Publico school in Nicaragua. Whitney is planning a “Bike and Hike” Nov. 3 to raise lunch money for students at the school.
Clare Whitney will not be deterred.
The Schroon Lake teen is continuing her fight against childhood hunger. Whitney, a student at Schroon Lake Central School, met many hungry children during Mission of Hope visits to Nicaragua in February and July. She came home determined to help.
Her goal is to raise $10,000 this year for a school lunch program that will feed 130 Nicaraguan children.
“This money will pay for the lunches of a little more than 130 children for one school year,” she said. “In a school of 1,500 students, this is a small dent of less than 9 percent, but I believe that we can start small to make a huge difference.”
Whitney is halfway to her goal. A 5-kilometer run in June netted $5,053. Now she’s planning a “Bike and Hike” event Saturday, Nov. 3, at Severance Hill in Schroon Lake.
“I cannot express how grateful I am for all of the support I received from people in my community and in many other communities,” Whitney said of the run. “There were 45 incredible participants in the 5K race and over 100 individual and corporate donors. The ‘running’ tab so far is $5,053 and donations are still welcome.”
Checks can be made out to Mission of Hope, specified as “CP Food,” and addressed to: North Country Mission of Hope-PO Box 2522, Plattsburgh 12901.
“Please help raise the remaining $4,947 on Saturday Nov. 3, at 10 a.m. for a ‘Bike and Hike’ race that consists of a 10-mile bike ride followed by a hike to the top of Mt. Severance,” Whitney said. “After the (bike) race, there will be a ‘Hike for Hope’ up Mt. Severance starting at noon and lasting until 3 p.m.
“All participants are requested to raise money for this great cause through sponsorships of family members, friends, etc.,” she said. “Those who raise $30 or more will receive a Mission Esperanza bracelet and those who raise $75 or more will receive a Corazones Y Pies t-shirt.”
For more information contact Whitney at email@example.com or 791-7766.
Hunger is rampant in Nicaragua. It is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere; only Haiti has worse poverty.
School lunch is important, Whitney said, because it is often the only food a child receives in day.
“If they don’t get lunch at school during the day, odds are they won’t get fed every night when they go home,” she said. “It is so important that we sponsor these children to assure education and do what we can to assure better nutrition as well.
“I currently sponsor an 11 year-old girl attending Chiquilistagua Publico named Izayanna,” she said. “The lunch we can buy for the students will vary from meals such as tortilla bread and cheese, or soup, or oatmeal-like drinks. These meals are very simple and they emphasize fruit and protein, which is what most children lack most in their diets.”
A spiritually-based humanitarian organization, the North Country Mission of Hope is committed to fostering hope and empowering relationships with the people of Nicaragua through sustainable programs in education, health care, community and ecological development. It began in 1998 by responding to the devastating effects of Hurricane Mitch on the impoverished villages of Nicaragua.