My name is Lynn Weir and I am the Food Resource Coordinator for the South Plains Food Bank. Several months ago I was given the task to plan, organize, and to be in charge of our 30 Hour Food Drive for 2013. I said “Okay” and had the deer in the headlights look I am quite sure!
I set two goals for myself. One: to get the Texas Tech community involved. And two: to get some food donated.
How do we get Tech involved? “Instead of Wreck 'Em Tech, let's name it Wreck Hunger.” I wanted to attract the Tech community, so who better to do it than Tech students? What do Tech students like to do best after studying? Party. I said, “Let's have a tailgate party!”
We planned the first “Wreck Hunger” with a 30 hour tailgate party and a planning committee comprised 95% of Tech students. Tailgating could start on Thursday night before the TCU game which Tech would wreck, and then continue Friday and Saturday. Has to work, right?!
I was at the game Thursday night, when it was extremely close, sat down and honestly prayed, "God I know this isn't the type of thing you are supposed to pray for, but PLEASE let Tech pull this out. Of course I want Tech to win, but I need the community and Tech to be in a very good mood these next two days, feeling very generous. How else am I going to be able to get food for the hungry?"
My prayers were answered! Tech wrecked TCU! And with help from our friends, the South Plains Food Bank wrecked hunger!
We accomplished so incredibly much more than just Wrecking Hunger. When I use the term "we", I am not only talking about the people at the Food Bank, but the Texas Tech community, businesses in Lubbock, the Lubbock community, and numerous volunteers.
I chose a goal of 3,500 pounds of food for us to collect, thinking this is a probably on the high side for just 30 hours of a food drive, but you have to be optimistic. My goal was totally exceeded! We collected 27,361 pounds of food and had $1,640.14 donated, which equates to 29,362 meals on the South Plains!
One lady stopped me and asked me if I were with the Food Bank and I said yes. She said this was one of the best events she had ever been to. “It was a very family friendly environment for a tailgate party, which her young children could attend, but above all else, it was for a very good cause.”
A homeless man came to the event with his wife and backpack. We were giving away hot dogs and hamburgers Saturday at lunch. He and his wife each ate a couple of hamburgers and hot dogs and took some with them. They went to our beverage cart where we had drinks and sweets, and topped their back packs off with drinks and desserts. When Coach Kliff Kingsbury made an appearance on Saturday, the gentlemen went up to shake Coach Kingsbury's hand. I stood and watched Coach Kingsbury look the man in the eye, as if he were the only fan around, and shake his hand. The man's life was made. He went over to my husband and was like a little child at Christmas! He got to meet and shake the hand of Kliff Kingsbury! The same man came to the food bank today, for the first time, and was still holding his autograph of Kliff Kingsbury.
During his appearance, Coach Kingsbury's assistant asked me to try to keep things orderly, and would tell me we only have about 10 more minutes, 4 more minutes, etc, as Coach had a staff meeting at 2:00. I would say “ok guys, only 4 more minutes, one more person,” etc. When we said “that's all,” Coach Kingsbury stopped and continued to sign more autographs and take pictures. Does Tech have the best football coach or what?
Raider Red and the Masked Rider with Fearless Champion were also there on Saturday and parents got photos with their children and these remarkable icons. Trust me. Not only small children were having their pictures made!
The Lady Raider Basketball team made an appearance on Friday and brought close to 3,000 pounds of food they collected!
The men's baseball team came out, helped us load one of our trucks with food and made a little boys day. A little boy around 5 or 6 who is passionate about baseball approached the team to meet them. He got some pointers from the team and then found out that he had a better swing than some of the Red Raiders! This is the honest truth!
Tubby Smith came out Friday, on his way home to just stop by and check us out! Did he have to do this? Of course not!
Jon Murray, the Cross Country Coach came by on Saturday.
The Saddle Tramps came out, held a pep rally for us, and every time someone donated food, rang their bells and Bangin' Bertha!
Members of the Goin' Band pretty much played non-stop Saturday. On a purely selfish side, I was very honored, when I walked out of the store from getting a drink, and the band began playing Happy Birthday to me! Now how many people can say the Goin' Band has serenaded them!
We had the Reagor-Dykes Hummer at the event and a little boy came up to me and asked if he could sit in the Hummer. I said of course. He got behind the wheel and was off to the races (in his mind). He got out jumping up and down, squealing that he got to drive a real Hummer!
A sixth grader here in Lubbock helped us do a live TV appearance with Nikki-Dee Ray. Afterwords, she came up to me and said she was the happiest person in the world because she got to meet someone who is on TV!
The very last prize we drew for was a 55 inch TV. The young gentleman who won it, brought us 3 non-perishable food items to earn a ticket. He was saving his money to buy a TV!
We accomplished our goal of raising 3,500 pounds of food, but not without the help of supporters and volunteers. On Friday Mrs. Baird’s Bread announced their donation of 18,000 pounds of bread! There was great camaraderie between food bank employees and volunteers. I was hoping for a respectful showing and got so much more!
Lubbock, Texas and the South Plains is the best place on earth to live and hands down Texas Tech is the best University anywhere! Thank you everyone who came out, volunteered, and made appearances. We will see you next year for the same event. If you want to help us out just phone the South Plains Food Bank, and I will get you signed up! A huge difference was made in lives in Lubbock this weekend! You WRECKED HUNGER! This will only get bigger and better from here on out!