I first started my fight to help cure hunger when I was a senior public relations major at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. It began as a required internship that happened to be unpaid at Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, which is a part of the Feeding America network. At first I only saw it as a class credit and one step closer to graduation, but by the end, I would have never guessed the amazing endeavors I would get to be a part of. I was hired on as the Assistant of Fundraising and Development. My sole duties were public relations in nature, but I would plan and execute events that raised monetary and food donations, meet and grow relationships with many repeat donors, and contact media outlets to help promote organizations that were planning events to benefit the food bank. The food bank itself, was a state of the art facility that is the second largest in Indiana. It was growing in size and was on track to reach a goal of 13 million pounds of food distributed to the region's 70,000 people that relied on the food bank to give them something to eat.
I got the position by volunteering with my fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, and was introduced to the Director of Fundraising and Development when my fraternity was dropping off the food we raised from our local philanthropy. The food bank gave my brothers a hand in letting us help those that were in need. It brought us closer as a chapter and helped us stay in contact with our values. The internship itself taught me personally how to keep helping others even when I thought I couldn't. It helped me foster skills that I use today and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. I am now an Educational Leadership Consultant for the Lambda Chi Alpha General Fraternity. My sole job is to serve as a liaison between the General Fraternity and the undergraduate members. I work in conjunction with chapter officers in evaluating their duties, analyzing current problems, and developing pragmatic programs suited to each chapter's special situation.
When I heard of the partnership of the General Fraternity and Feeding America, I knew that we were going to change the lives of many families. The men of Lambda Chi Alpha were going to have a bigger impact in ensuring there's food on the tables of the millions of people that can't afford to. This relationship fosters what it means to be a true Lambda Chi Alpha man and teaches the true meaning of service and stewardship. When I travel the road and meet with chapters explaining the good news, the level of excitement shoots through the roof, especially when they can call Feeding America food banks to work together in planning events instead of just doing it alone. They also want to be more involved by donating hours of community service to make their relationship more lasting instead of just one day of philanthropy. I am proud to work for an organization that cares enough about helping others that I can only see this relationship grow. This is an exciting time for the world of fighting hunger and it is only going to get better.
Justin is a graduate of Ball State University where he majored in public relations. As a student campus leader he has served as IFC Judicial Board member, Black Student Association member, Public Relations Society of America member, University Board of Trustees Student Selection Committee member, and University Review Board judge. As an undergraduate brother he served the Iota-Alpha chapter as social chairman.
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