Somalia fundraiser planned

More than 500 volunteers are being sought to roll up their sleeves for a Saturday fundraiser helping Somalia’s hungry and local people in need.

More than 500 volunteers are being sought to roll up their sleeves for a Saturday fundraiser helping Somalia’s hungry and local people in need.

Individuals are being sought to knock on doors as part of a citywide bottle and food drive.

The community endeavour will attempt to collect $25,000 for Amanda Lindhout’s Global Enrichment Foundation. It will also collect 25,000 pounds of food.

Melissa Poettcker of Blackfalds is among a handful of organizers who wanted to help after hearing about Lindhout and her desire to do what she can to alleviate the Somalian famine, despite the torture and ill treatment she suffered in that country. Lindhout was kidnapped in August 2008 and freed 15 months later, in November 2009.

Lindhout has since created the Global Enrichment Foundation to give sponsorships to women in Somalia so they can get a university education.

Her organization has partnered with Hope for the Nations and The African Future to deliver emergency food to thousands of people in Somalia affected by drought and political turmoil.

“We were inspired by Amanda Lindhout’s story and then we tied in the (Red Deer Food Bank), so we could benefit poverty locally and in Somalia,” said Poettcker.

Volunteers are invited to meet at 8:30 a.m. at CrossRoads Church west of the 32nd Street and Hwy 2 overpass. Bring a vehicle, friends and a bag lunch.

“We just want people to feel like they can get involved and do something about poverty,” said Poettcker.

The fundraiser is also hosting a Fight for Five Pennies for Pounds Challenge where organizations, businesses and individuals can match every pound of food gathered during the Mobilize: Compassion in Action food drive, with just one penny. That’s one pound of food for the food bank and one penny for Somalia relief.

The food drive/bottle drive will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. A semi-tractor trailer unit was donated for the day, so it can be packed with food.

A break will follow, then everyone is invited back for a community barbecue at 5 p.m.

A Night of Inspiration concert will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. inside the church.

Poettcker said the concert will include stories of local poverty, plus people will see video footage of the refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, where hundreds of thousands of Somalians are fleeing to.

Community leaders and local entertainers will be on hand.

For more information, go online at www.mobilizeus.ca.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com