Over 80 middle and high students recently took part in something pretty amazing. They set aside the usual “stuff” that fills their daily lives – cell phones, television, social media, food. Instead, they participated in an event to raise awareness and money for some of the world’s poorest children. The result? $11,116.11 raised – enough money to feed and care for 26 children for an entire year.

The event was World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine. It’s a weekend where hundreds of thousands of young people from all around the nation go without food for 30 hours to get a taste of what the world’s most underprivileged families face every day. Prior to the event weekend, the students raise funds with the knowledge that every $35 raised can help feed and care for a child for a month.

“Our goal in doing the famine is to give our students the opportunity to set aside their own lives, in a world that’s very self-focused, and to think about others that are less fortunate,” said Becca Jones, student ministry director for middle schoolers at Chestnut Ridge Church.

The weekend started with the students meeting at CRC on a Friday evening to begin their 30 hour fast. Then on Saturday, the students scattered throughout Morgantown to serve those in need locally, performing over 279 hours of community service at Christian Help, Chestnut Mountain Ranch, Boys and Girls Club, Chestnut Ridge Park, Bartlett House, and Friends of Decker’s Creek.

After the 30 hours elapsed, the students gathered back at the church to celebrate all they had accomplished over the weekend, and to break the fast together with dinner.

“It was so amazing to see these students not only raise as much money as they did for children across the world, but to also be excited about going throughout our city to serve others,” said Jones. “The famine really got them in the mindset of going all in when helping others. Even when we got back to the church after serving, the students continued to ask how they could help with cleanup and getting things back in order. It was really great to see.”

This is the 9th year the Ridge’s student ministry has participated in the 30 Hour Famine. The money raised will go to the country with the most need, determined by World Vision. A portion of the funds raised will go to assist families in need in the United States. Since 1992, 30 Hour Famine has raised more than $150 million, representing countless lives saved.