Last spring, Fairfield Ludlowe High School student Matt Jessen hit the pavement to help raise money for Operation Hope. Matt is an excellent role model for his peers, keeping sight of the things that matter, such as family, community and social issues. We are truly grateful for his time and talents to assist those whose needs are greater than his own.

Matt took a class at Merkez (Hebrew High School) called Mitzvah Money Matters. The students were charged with creating a fundraiser and picking an organization that they felt passionate about and raising as much money as they could by the end of the spring semester. Matt selected Operation Hope, since its mission of ending hunger and homelessness has been an ongoing point of interest for him since middle school. He has volunteered and fundraised for Operation Hope for the past several years. He decided to raise money to purchase necessary food items to help stock the shelves of the Food Pantry. Matt created an online fundraiser through You Caring, a crowdfunding website, and sent it to everyone one he knew via email and through Facebook. Matt committed that for every $25.00 that was donated he would run a mile. Raising just under $1,000, Matt ran almost 40 miles last spring!

Matt’s 40 miles of running helps feed 10 families of 5 for 1 month. More and more people are struggling to feed their families, which creates a huge demand on our Food Pantry. We rely on generous donations, like Matt’s, and always welcome initiatives like this from our young volunteers to help our neighbors in need. If you’re interested in running your own fundraiser or food drive on behalf of Operation Hope, please email our Volunteer Coordinator Donna Schmidt or call her at 203-292-5588 ext. 207.

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