MAHOMET, Ill. (WCIA) — There’s a group of volunteers that doesn’t mess around. They can pack 300 bags of food in 25 minutes. It will go to students in the Mahomet Seymour school district and is the brainchild of Lori Larson.
“I was in a bible study and they were talking about how are you using your gifts to enhance your life,” said Larson.
That was eight years ago. At the time, there was no food backpack program at Lincoln Trail Elementary, the junior high or high school. Larson’s gift is getting people to say yes. She hit up her friends, churches, businesses and private donors. The Give Me Five program was born. Fast forward to the pandemic. Larson knew more help would be needed and she didn’t miss a beat.
“We reached out and said if we do this in the summer would there be any interest and of the 160 that we asked, 125 said yes.”
Fern White is a volunteer. “She’s our fearless leader. She’s selfless and our communities need that. We need more selfless people to come in and are concerned about everyone because everyone is hurting today especially.”
The community has rallied too. The group put a new link on the school website to donate. In one month, they raised almost $20,000, enough to cover the entire school year. It proved to Larson she was just the spark that was needed to shine a light on a solution to a problem.
“It’s not about me. It’s about doing for other people,” she said. “Treating other people the way I want to be treated. That’s why I take the pride in it. Knowing I’m part of something that’s big.”