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Wrapping event in Homewood benefits Children’s Hunger Fund

Max Metzger 5 reaches inbox stuffed animals distribute volunteers for wrapping Children's Hunger Fund 4-City volunteer wrapping event. The two-week

Max Metzger, 5, reaches into a box of stuffed animals to distribute to volunteers for wrapping at the Children's Hunger Fund 4-City volunteer wrapping event. The two-week goal was to wrap 250,000 stuffed animals donated by Ty Inc. | Ginger Brashinger~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 25, 2014 6:02AM

Nearly 500 volunteers assembled recently in the Homewood warehouse of the Children’s Hunger Fund to make the holidays meaningful for less fortunate children around the world.

Armed with festive wrapping paper, scissors and tape from home, each volunteer wrapped his or her share of thousands of stuffed animals donated by Ty, Inc., attempting to meet a four-city goal to wrap 250,000 gifts over a two-week period for children for the Christmas holiday.

In addition to the Chicago-area volunteers, others assembled in Dallas, San Antonio and Los Angeles.

“This is what it looks like for the church to unite,” said Children’s Hunger Fund resource development director, west, John Blazey after the volunteers viewed a video showing the poverty many children all worldwide live with on a daily basis.

Blazey told the group that being called to serve doesn’t necessarily mean giving money to a cause; it may mean making a sacrifice of time.

“We want to encourage people to give until it hurts,” Blazey said.

The organization has an even more urgent goal of bringing 250,000 meals to families all over the world, he said, “from families in inner cities who are struggling to make it from day to day to orphans in Thailand pulled out of the sex industry at 3 and 4 years old.”

Homewood resident Carol Injerd said spending a Saturday wrapping gifts for children was the right use of her time. In her second year as a volunteer, Injerd came with her husband Daniel and grandson Max Metzger, 5, to help out.

“It’s an act of service to the poor and it makes me feel good,” Injerd said. “It’s what God would want us to do.”

Maria Orozco, of Chicago, said she discovered the opportunity to volunteer for CHF when she went on a park district website and saw a link to eventbrite, an online site about events in an area.

“I thought it would be a nice thing to do with my daughter,” Orozco said. “I thought, ‘That’s really a great day for families to spend together.’ ”

Blazey said the event is intentionally open to all ages so whole families will attend.

“It’s a great opportunity for parents to teach their children about real-life poverty, not only learning about the poverty, but learning that it’s our responsibility to do something about it,” he said.

For more information, call (800) 708-7589 or visit

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