When Jordyn was in the fifth grade, she spotted something upsetting: while other kids snacked on their lunches, a nearby student had nothing to eat. Jordyn began sharing her own food with her classmate - but she couldn’t stop thinking about the other kids in her community who might also have empty stomachs. Since that day, 11-year-old Jordyn has fed well over 6,000 people. She’s made a difference beyond the walls of her school - and she has big plans to keep fighting hunger.
In Jordyn and her mom Jeanice’s words, they tell the story of how Jordyn began raising money to feed others:
Jordyn: One day at school last year, I noticed that a kid in my class didn’t have a lot of food to eat at lunch. This was around the time at my school when lunches still cost money. It made me really sad to see a student sit there without food, so I started sharing my lunch and snacks with them.
Jeanice: I noticed that Jordyn was often hungry when she came home from school, and she told me it was because she was sharing her snacks with another student. As we began regularly packing extra lunches and snacks for this child, Jordyn started asking a lot of questions. She had trouble understanding why they couldn’t afford food.
My husband and I both grew up in a state of poverty, and we haven’t been shy about sharing that with Jordyn. But when your parents tell you something, it’s different than when you actually see it for yourself. The situation caused Jordyn to realize that hunger is real, and it’s tough.
Jordyn: The whole thing just made me think that if one kid was in this situation, then maybe there were a lot of other kids dealing with the same thing. I was really sad thinking about it.
Jeanice: Jordyn wanted to know why no one was doing anything about it. She started asking, “Well, what are kids going to eat over winter break?” She went from feeling sad and confused to feeling like she had a responsibility to give to people who weren’t as fortunate.
Jordyn: I realized that a lot of kids depend on school food for their main meals. I wanted to help raise money during the summer and winter breaks since that’s when we’re away from school. When kids are out of school, that’s when they need food the most.
Jeanice: We went online and found Three Square, a local nonprofit here in Las Vegas that does virtual food drives. We decided to partner with them because we knew we could help more people that way than trying to make meals on our own. Jordyn’s first fundraiser did really well.
Jordyn: I didn’t want anyone to be embarrassed or get bullied if they ate food that was donated to the school, so I thought doing an online food drive would be perfect - kids would be able to get the food without anyone seeing them or laughing at them.
For my winter break fundraiser, I was able to raise enough money to feed 6,000 people! I’ve even been able to tour Three Square’s facility and help put together meals on their assembly line. I’m going to volunteer with them more soon - I can’t wait.
Jeanice: Once Jordyn realized how much food she could provide, she was inspired to keep going. The success of that first fundraiser lit a fire in her and pushed her to keep putting her good into the world.
Jordyn: I decided to start a GoFundMe because I wanted to reach a lot more people and raise money for kids during the summer. It’s especially important to help raise money during the summer, because it’s three whole months that kids are without food. I’ve raised over $1,500 for summer meals already!
Jeanice: Just the other day, Jordyn got a really big donation on her GoFundMe and was over the moon about it. She said, “Oh my gosh! I’m going to feed so many kids!'” The more success she sees, the more it fuels her desire to help.
Jordyn: I really wish I could feed every kid in the whole entire world, but at least through my GoFundMe I can try to make sure that all the kids in my community are fed and aren’t malnourished.
Jeanice: We’ve taught Jordyn that no one is better than anyone else - we’re all just human, and we do what we can to help our fellow humans. Jordyn’s heart is so big, and it’s amazing to see how she’s putting those values into action as she’s coming into her own.