Editorial By Bruce Karnick [email protected] As much as 2020 stunk in a lot of ways, for me personally, the worst piece was the summer. I am used to 80 or so baseball games at Veterans Park. 80 …
Editorial By Bruce Karnick
As much as 2020 stunk in a lot of ways, for me personally, the worst piece was the summer. I am used to 80 or so baseball games at Veterans Park. 80 or so games where I get to see a lot of people that I respect and enjoy the company of, most importantly, 80 or so games where I get to do something to make a small difference in other people’s lives.
A former manager of mine drove home a pretty cool message. Do small things in a great way. By that, he meant, even the smallest of things can have a huge impact on the right people and those small things can be done as if they were the greatest thing in the world.
Somewhere around a few years ago (my memory for this stuff is terrible), I met an amazing woman named Amy Schaffer. Amy works with the United Way of Hastings, and she is the driving force behind the Food4Kids drive that started in Hastings in 2015. She has a passion for helping people and she is the definition of doing small things in a great way. Her positive energy seems endless, and her smile is infectious. You cannot help but be in a better mood and feeling good about yourself when you spend a few minutes with Amy. Happiness is her superpower, and she shares that with every person she interacts with, even if it is only through a bag of food.
The Food4Kids program started with feeding 40 kids on weekends during the school year by providing bags that the kids can take home from school. The bags contained enough food to get them through the weekend when they otherwise might be without food. Since 2015, the program has expanded.
Before COVID, the program was delivering meals during the summer months as part of the SPARK program. As of today, Schaffer packages and delivers
See FOOD4KIDS Page 3
Food4Kids feeds 200+ kids per weekend, so the Hastings Hawks and Minnesota Mammoths teamed up for a flash fundraiser to help the United Way of Hastings with their mission. Amy Schaffer of United Way recieves a $300 check from Bruce Karnick, Hastings Hawks President and Shawn Matson, Hastings Hawks Manager before the Hawks final home game of the season. (Nick Tuckner of the MN Mammoths was unavailable to participate). Photo by Johnny Stocker Food4Kids
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around 200 bags of food per week to kids that need it during the school year with the hopes of returning to yearlong assistance as soon as it is feasible.. Each bag costs around three dollars to assemble, so the program easily goes through $600 a week just in supplies.
After meeting Amy, I decided this was a cause I could stand behind. It’s simple, kids need food to not only survive, but thrive. Kids need to come to school fueled and ready to learn, not worrying about lunch because they have not eaten in 48 hours. As the President of the Hastings Hawks, I presented the idea of turning our 2018 Rivertown Days game against the Prescott Pirates, the River Rumble, into a fundraiser for the Food4Kids program. We figured we would give it a go and see what would happen. If we raised $90, we would feed, 30 kids. Our goal was $500 because we started working on it two weeks before the game. We knew we could hit a homerun with this.
The day came and we had tremendous support from not only the business community with gift card donations, and the community with their purchases and donations, but we had a monstrous effort from both Corborn’s of Hastings and Ptacek’s IGA in Prescott. Both stores donated 50 bags worth of food to each team, plus cash from the sales of similar bags in the stores. In all, we raised $1500 for Food4Kids in 2018.
The drive was so successful, we planned on doing it yearly. In 2019, there were scheduling issues and the game was cancelled, which brings us to 2020 and the terrible year that was. Baseball was so limited; we couldn’t risk having the game. 2021 had enough uncertainty and changes until March, we didn’t get the rumble scheduled… again… That is where Nick Tuckner and the Minnesota Mammoths 35+ team comes in. They needed a place to play a key game for their season and Nick wanted his guys to play on his hometown field at Vets. It happened to be the Friday night of Rivertown Days. The Hawks had a make-up game scheduled for Saturday, so Nick and I decided to see if we could turn the weekend into a fundraiser for a Hastings charity. We decided Food4Kids would be perfect, but again, we came to this conclusion last minute. In fact, so last minute, it was decided on Wednesday the week of the games.
Thanks to Green Mill, Perkins, Dairy Queen, Nick Tuckner, the Hastings Hawks, and some gift cards to Spiral Brewery and Las Margaritas that I had, we were able to raise $300 for Food4Kids all in about four days’ time.
Schafer came to the final Hawks home game of the season on Wednesday night to be presented the check. It wasn’t the $1500 raised in 2018, and it was ‘only’ $300, but that is where doing small things in a great way is so important. The money raised will feed about 100 kids. That is 100 kids that won’t go hungry because we made a small effort to help feed them.
Can you imagine what would happen if all 2800 of our readers were to do a small thing in a great way? If all 2800+ donated $1 to the Food4kids program, that would feed over 900 kids. Bump that to a $5 donation per reader and we are feeding over 4,600 kids.
I am already proud to be part of an organization like the Hastings Hawks for the last 10 years, and reflecting on my rookie year with the Journal, I can say I am proud of the small things our paper does in a great way. The owner, John McLoone, is stepping up to the plate for another give back to Hastings.
Starting now, until Wednesday, August 11th, we need your help. We are going to donate the money from new subscriptions to the United Way of Hastings’ Food4Kids program. Tell your friends to subscribe by Friday, August 13th, one year for $30 or two for $50, and that money will go to feed kids in Hastings. If you want to simply donate to Food4Kids, we can be the messenger for you. Write your check to Food4Kids, mail it to us and we will deliver your check with ours.
If you wish to donate directly to the Food4Kids program, visit www.unitedwayofhastings. org to learn about opportunities to donate. Another great way to help out the program is the Stuff the Bus campaign. This years Stuff the Bus will happen from August 23-30 and you can donate online at www.givemn.org/story/Stb2021 or they will be collecting Food 4 Kids items at Coborn’s, Cub, Spiral Natural Foods, and Walmart.
The gauntlet has been dropped! Do you accept the challenge? Tell your friends to subscribe, toss $5 or more to the United Way of Hastings, or Stuff the Bus! Every little bit helps.