Part Four, Lina Bargell
by Ali Marsh
Kids Helping Kids: Food for Thought’s Young Trailblazers (part IV—Lina)
“Because they’re all our kids” is the guiding principle Food for Thought has lived by since its inception, and it’s one that has kept the organization laser focused on ensuring that their mission is simple yet incredibly effective.
This month, we’re highlighting Lina, Food for Thought’s original young trailblazer. She has been leading the charge for kids who serve kids for the last 2.5 years. This young lady is a true leader, holding her own in crowds of 100 adult volunteers at Food for Thought’s main hub at Metro State University. She even assists the volunteer committee that organizes Food for Thought’s annual fundraiser, Rock-A-Belly.
She’s done everything from packing bags to ensuring the trash in the dumpster is compacted, and she does it all with an infectious smile and a light that shines brightly enough to wake everyone up when they arrive at 7:00 am! I had a chance to interrupt this little powerhouse’s busy volunteering schedule to ask her a few questions about what she loves about Food for Thought and volunteering.
Can you tell me your age and grade in school?
Lina: I’m 9, and I’m in 4th grade.
What made you decide to volunteer with FFT?
Lina: Well, my dad was part of the staff group, and I heard about it when I was 6 or 7. I thought it would be fun to help out. And yeah, that’s what happened!
How long have you been volunteering with FFT?
Lina: I’ve been a part of it for a few years, and I’m there every Friday.
Do you think other people should volunteer with FFT? Why?
Lina: Yes. We’re trying to help the kids in the schools have food on the weekends. They get it at school; just not on the weekends. I would like them to have food, and I want the other kids in the world to know that being good to people and giving them food is just nice to do for other kids. I would recommend volunteering!
What should other people know about FFT?
Lina: You can meet a lot of great people there who want to help kids. And it’s really fun!
What do you wish you could say or do for the kids in these schools?
Lina: This is for you. I hope you enjoy it!
What do you love most about FFT? What’s your favorite part?
Lina: I like hanging out with a lot of friends because I know a lot of people there. I like helping kids out. Since I’m a kid, too, I understand it better!
Finally, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Lina: I want to be an author who writes and also illustrates my own books!
Lina’s natural ability to lead along with her genuine desire to help others and her commitment to Food for Thought each and every week has her poised to take the next generation of volunteers by storm. With kids like her as our allies, Food for Thought will continue to grow and thrive so we’ll never have to see another kid return to school on Monday with an empty belly. I have no doubt that Lina’s future is as bright as her smile!