Tag Archives: College of Mount. St. Joseph

Food and Education Can Change the World

The UN Development Goals Class at the College of Mount St. Joseph (Dr. Jim Bodle)

The UN Development Goals Class at the College of Mount St. Joseph (Dr. Jim Bodle)

Last month I spoke to a unique class at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio, one dedicated to ending hunger and poverty through the UN Development Goals. The class had attended Ban Ki-moon’s Youth Day presentation at the General Assembly.

As I prepared for the class a surprise came to me via twitter! It was a letter from a child in Mali, a country in Africa that has suffered through conflict and drought. The UN World Food Programme (WFP), which is providing school meals in Mali, forwarded a translation of the letter:

Hello papa et maman. After 11 months of occupation in North Mali by armed bandits we’re today on the path to school. Our parents are poor and tired.

Thank you WFP who gave us food so we could work hard in school. We always count on God and you. With WFP it’s okay. The school in Barize thanks you.

These school meals take on even more urgency in Mali with recent findings that show three out of every four households in the northern part of the country suffer from hunger. Both WFP and Catholic Relief Services are providing food for schoolchildren in Mali. Funding though is always an issue.

Food and education for children is something that clearly does not get enough attention, yet it’s one of our most important pathways to peace.

Ban Ki-moon told the Youth Day audience in August about his experiences growing up in war-time Korea. When it rained there were no classes because those were held outdoors. The school buildings had been destroyed during the fighting.

The Secretary General said the Korean children were hungry for food, but also hungry for knowledge. “It’s not only bread and butter” he said, “you need to have knowledge and education.” Getting children food and education is a top priority worldwide.

What better example than South Korea? During and after the war food was provided to children through the United Nations, CARE and other organizations. The U.S. Food for Peace program was founded after the Korean War. Millions of Korean children received school meals through Food for Peace.

History provides us even more advice. It was October 1st, 1947 when Secretary of State George Marshall said, “Hunger and insecurity are the worst enemies of peace.” He knew that peace after World War II stood no chance unless the enemy of hunger was defeated. Europe’s recovery was only possible under a foundation of food. School meals were a huge part of this recovery. That is a lesson we need to remember today.

It was a great opportunity to speak to the UN Development Goals class about food and education for children. Everyone in the class even received a Red Cup which is the World Food Programme’s symbol of school meals.

The school meals mean a lot to every country, from the United States to Yemen. The United States has its own national school lunch program, building upon years of effort. Now the U.S. Congress ironically is trying to undo that by eliminating some free school meals as part of its food stamp cuts.

That is why it’s so important that people advocate for what should be a basic right for children: school meals. The UN Development Goals class, with its emphasis on service learning, is well-equipped to carry on this message.

Next year Yemen will be starting their own national school lunch program with the help of WFP, a potential major turning point for a country mired in conflict and poverty.

Erin Koepke of the World Food Program USA said to me, “I love how there is a class dedicated to the Millennium Development Goals. If only all colleges and universities had a similar class.” I agree.

originally published at the Huffington Post

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College Students Hear Message of Hope from UN Chief

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon holding the famous red cup which symbolizes the movement to provide all children worldwide with school meals. Mount St. Joseph students listed to presentations both at the United Nations and on campus about the importance of school meals in ending hunger and poverty (photo courtesy of the UN World Food Program)

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon holding the famous red cup which symbolizes the movement to provide all children worldwide with school meals. Mount St. Joseph students listed to presentations both at the United Nations and on campus about the importance of school meals in ending hunger and poverty (photo courtesy of the UN World Food Program)

Last month College of Mount St. Joseph students traveled to the United Nations in New York. Their mission was to learn about the UN Development goals to end world hunger and poverty.

The students attended a presentation by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The Secretary General talked about bread and butter. Not the appetizer kind. What he meant was how children around the globe needed food, but also education.

The Secretary General told the story about growing up during the Korean War. Schools were destroyed during the fighting and children attended class outdoors, under shade of trees. When it rained there was no class.

The Secretary General said how he and other children were hungry for food, but also for knowledge. “It’s not only bread and butter” he said, “you need to have knowledge and education.” Getting children an education is a top priority worldwide.

The Mount students, upon returning to campus, learned more about the importance of food and education for children. The story of war-time Korea further illustrated this point as former Cincinnati resident, Major Charles Arnold, led a UN civil assistance team that fed Korean refugee children. Without this food, the children would have suffered severe malnutrition.

The Charity CARE, with support from the U.S. Food for Peace program, provided millions of Korean children with school feeding over the decade following the war. This was a key strategy to fighting malnutrition and boosting school enrollment and learning.

Today, the United Nations World Food Program spearheads a global effort to provide all children with school meals. It’s called The Fill the Red Cup Campaign.

MSJ students received red cups from the World Food Program USA last week as a symbol of this school feeding movement. They also listened to historic messages from General Dwight Eisenhower, who spoke in 1948 at the United Nations Crusade for Children. Ike emphasized how starving children, scrapping for food, could not grow up to be apostles of peace. Food aid is essential now as it was after World War II.

The Mount campus currently fundraises for UN school feeding programs and Feeding America through its Charity Miles team. The UN class is planning to continue to spread Ban Ki-Moon’s message of hope, food and education for all.

article originally published at Cincinnati.com

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MSJ Charity Miles Interviews

msjI have conducted interviews with several members of the Mount St. Joseph University Charity Miles team (MountMiles). These interviews have been published online at Huffington Post, Examiner and some have appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer print edition.

I have compiled a list of the published interviews and other features here with links. It’s a great way to learn about Charity Miles, how it works, and the people that make it go. This information can also serve as a model for other schools in setting up their own Charity Miles programs.

Interview: Tristan Chaput on Charity Miles for College

Interview with Aaron Bloemer- the student leader for Charity Miles

Interview: LeeAnne Reinert, Charity Miler at Mount St. Joseph

Huffington Post feature on Cross Country Runner Amanda Shelby

College student Kelly Burger featured at Huffington Post on 30-hour famine

Interview: Matthew Kohlmorgen about Charity Miles and Hemingway

MSJ runner Kelleen Scott logs charity miles to fight cancer

Fox19 segment on Mount Miles event

College Student Becca Heizer Excels at Charity Miles and Service Learning

MSJ Impact Group to Host Charity Miles Walkathon

MSJ Student Leader Making an Impact

MSJ Student Inspired by Charity Miles

Cincinnati Enquirer Good News Profile on Aaron Bloemer

Runner gives holiday gift of Plumpy’Nut to starving children

Cincinnati Authors Class Helps Feed the Hungry with Charity Miles

Linking Hunger Fighting and Service Learning

Small College Captured Spirit of the Marshall Plan

Author William Lambers on Charity Miles

MSJ Athletes Pursue National Title in Charity Miles

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Interview: LeeAnne Reinert, Charity Miler at Mount St. Joseph

LeeAnne Reinert is the President of the College of Mount St. Joseph Student Nurse Association. While starting her career in the medical field, LeeAnne has also been fundraising for many charitable causes.

She is a member of the Mount’s Charity Miles team (MountMiles), organized by the Campus Activities Board. Charity Miles is a free app you download onto your smartphone that allows you to raise money for Feeding America, Autism Speaks, Stand Up To Cancer, the World Food Program and many other charities.

When you start your workout, you select which organization to sponsor. Then for each mile you run, walk or bike, a donation is made to the charity of your choice, paid out of a sponsorship pool.

LeeAnne recently took time to discuss Charity Miles.

Tell us about your first experience with Charity Miles, as part of extra credit for a class.

I was very excited when I was told about the Charity Miles opportunity for my Cincinnati Authors Literature class. It was perfectly timed with Lent and connected my two Lenten goals into one since my Lenten goals were to make healthier choices and dedicate my time to a worthy cause. Running for good causes gave me all the motivation I needed to lace up my running shoes and head to the track.

I was also excited that if I completed the required number of miles by the end of the semester I would not have to write the final paper for my Lit class. (What college student doesn’t love getting out of writing a paper?) This opportunity ended up being a blessing that allowed me to focus on my nursing classes and raise my grades that ultimately helped me earn a 4.0 last semester!

How many Charity Miles have you run so far?

During school I ran about 30 miles. Since the beginning of summer vacation I have run about 40 miles. (The heat and work have slowed me down.)

What are some of the charities that you are helping?

The two charities that I run for the most are Stand Up To Cancer and Wounded Warriors Project.

Do you have a personal connection with any of the Charity Miles causes?

The Wounded Warriors Project has a special place in my heart. My father, mother, and brother are all in the military (or are retired from it) so all my life I have been surrounded by the dedicated men and women of our armed forces. Running for them makes me feel like I am doing my part to say thank you for their sacrifices. They received the care they more than earn as they continue to put themselves in harm’s way.

Stand Up To Cancer is another organization that is near and dear to me. I have had too many friends and family members fight or lose the battle to cancer. As a future nurse, cancer is going to surround me and knowing that the miles I run could help that fight always makes me want to push a little harder during each workout.

Can someone follow your Charity Miles workouts?

All of my Facebook friends can see my see my miles. My hope though is that my friends will be inspired to follow my lead and participate as well. I always know that some of my fellow Charity Miles runners/walkers will like the post and I always try to return the favor to them.

originally published at Cincinnati.com

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Interview: Tristan Chaput on Charity Miles for college

Charity Miles, the free smartphone app that lets you raise money to support causes while exercising, is taking the world by storm. Colleges is one of the places where this technological breakthrough in charity is happening.

At the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio students are using the app. Tristan Chaput, the president of the Campus Activities Board there, talks about Charity Miles on her campus. She hopes that the school will be “national champs” in this charity sport.

How did you decide to get MSJ involved in Charity Miles?

It was really a spur of the moment thing! I was first introduced to Charity Miles through author William Lambers after winning a contest that he put together. I downloaded the app and used it when I was walking around campus from class to class and then I realized that the miles were really adding up. Bill mentioned making it a school-wide event. I am on the Campus Activities Board (CAB) at the Mount, so I brought it to the executive board. Everybody seemed excited about the idea of it, so it really took off. Some of our executive members are the ones who have collected the most miles so far. To get the campus involved, we decided to have a summer contest and see who can collect the most miles (the winner gets a prize). So far Mount students have collected 64.805 miles.

What kinds of charities are benefiting from your workouts?

Lately I have been working out for She’s the First, an organization that seeks to give girls in developing countries an education, since they are new to Charity Miles. I also do workouts for Wounded Warrior Project, Feeding America, and World Food Programme.

How many Charity Miles have you collected so far this summer?

19.602 miles

Do you think MSJ could be the leading college in terms of Charity Miles, even national champs?

I really think we could! Unlike larger campuses where you have to take shuttle buses from one side of campus to the other, MSJ is so small we walk everywhere! I know from experience that this is a great way to earn some Charity Miles! We also have a campus that is full of people who are always doing service, whether it’s service hours for a class or simply volunteering during his/her free time.

How does someone get involved with Charity Miles at your school and in the community?

For the community, it’s easy. All you have to do is download the free app Charity Miles on your iPhone or Android. Before your workout begins decide whether you want to walk, run, or bike. Then simply select the charity you want to help and press start. Students have one extra step they need to complete. At the end of the workout they need to either “share” their workout on CAB’s Facebook page (Campus Activities Board – MSJ) or on CAB’s Twitter page (@CAB_MSJ). When they do this they are automatically entered to win prizes.

article originally published at Cincinnati.com

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College Class to Help Feed the Hungry

It was Helen Keller who said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” I recently used that great quote while speaking to a class at the College of Mount St. Joseph (MSJ).

The students there are going to help fight global hunger by playing FreeRice and walking Charity Miles as part of their Cincinnati Authors course. Ashley Eilers of the MSJ school paper reports on this service learning set up by Professor Jeff Hillard.

With FreeRice the students will be raising donations for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the largest agency fighting hunger. The FreeRice donations will feed children in Niger, a country that suffered a severe drought and near famine last year. With Charity Miles, the free cell phone app that generates donations when you exercise, the students will help both WFP and Feeding America.

The Mount’s Leadership Pathways program had a FreeRice event earlier this year. It was a student in last year’s Cincinnati Authors class, Elizabeth Paff, whose enthusiasm put this plan in motion.

Paff did not have a cell phone with internet connectivity so she was unable to download and use the Charity Miles app. That did not stop her, though. She did her own form of Charity Miles, running and fundraising for Plumpy’nut to feed malnourished children. Since October we have raised donations for over 1,300 meals for Feeding America, the World Food Programme, and Edesia through our combined Charity Miles program.

Last week I ran to the Anderson Ferry Food Pantry in Delhi, Ohio. It’s part of the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank’s network of agencies fighting hunger in the area. The Pantry is short on donations while they have seen an increase in demand, a familiar scene across the country, with over 50 million Americans food-insecure.

A walk or run to your local food pantry, using Charity Miles, might be a good way to raise money and find out what is happening with hunger in your community. If there is a food shop nearby you might be able to finish your run there and purchase some supplies for the pantry as well.

Sherrie Kleinholz, a great advocate for the homeless, and I teamed up for a food drive last summer that benefited the Anderson Ferry Pantry as well as Our Daily Bread, and the Care Barrel at Our Lady of Victory Church. The food drive was in honor of my mother who passed away from cancer. One of the donors was scheduled shortly for surgery but still took the time to gather food and leave it out for pickup. Kleinholz also spoke to the Cincinnati Authors class prior to my presentation.

Feeding America is encouraging everyone to get involved in the Together We Can Solve Hunger campaign. The best ideas to help fight hunger are the ones you adapt or create on your own. So get involved as soon as you can.

Article first published as College Class to Help Feed the Hungry on Blogcritics.

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Interview with Christine Grote, Author of Dancing in Heaven

When Christine Grote returned to school at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio, she began the journey of an emerging writer. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English 2007 and even started up a literary magazine for the college.

Her writings began to get published by magazines and newspapers, including St. Anthony Messenger , RED Webzine , and the Cincinnati Enquirer . Her journey as a writer would also take her down another path: That of an author.

Christine just wrote and published a memoir about her sister Annie, who passed away in 2009. Dancing in Heaven takes you inside Christine’s family and their life with Annie, who was disabled from birth.

In the following interview, Christine talks about Dancing in Heaven and also the process of publishing this inspirational memoir.

Tell about when the inspiration came to you to write a book about your sister’s life.

I’ve always known I would eventually write a story about Annie. This particular story began as a short story in collage form about Annie’s life for a creative writing class I was taking at the College of Mount St. Joseph in 2005, several years before Annie died. Although my teacher encouraged me to pursue the story by polishing it and seeking publication, I put it away. When Annie died in August of 2009, I felt compelled to tell her story. So I combined my short story with notes, journal entries, and e-mails from Annie’s last days. I filled in with more stories and drafted Dancing in Heaven.

What challenges did you face in the journey from an inspired idea to a ready-to-publish manuscript?

The first challenge was determining what to include and what to cut. I do a lot of revising, and make a fairly big mess of it in the process by at times physically cutting printed pages and taping things back together in a different arrangement. I felt the most challenged by, or least secure in, the final editing as a self-publishing author. No one has your back, so you have all the responsibility of making sure the final product is clean and correct.

What led you to start your own publishing company as opposed to sending your book to a traditional publisher?

Originally I intended to seek traditional publication. I bought books about getting an agent, writing a book proposal, and getting published. I sent out a single query letter to a recommended agent. I never heard anything back. Not even a simple, “I got your query and I’m not interested.” Agents don’t even have time for that much.

Meanwhile I was reading about self-publishing online. I liked the fact that I would keep control of the final product, including the title. I liked the fact that I wouldn’t have to wait what could be four or more years to find an agent. I wanted Annie’s story out there so I could move on with my life. I am not a very patient person. I did not want to have to rely on my query letter in a stack of thousands, making it into the right individual’s hands at the right time. It’s a good story. I wanted to tell it. I took a self-publishing workshop from Writer’s Digest University online and saw that I could do it.

What advice would you give other people inspired to write a book? Would you ever teach a seminar on publishing a book?

I think anyone inspired to write a book, or pursue any other creative outlet, owes it to themselves, not to “try,” but to do it. I read somewhere there are no “aspiring” writers, only writers. We only get one chance at this life, and the years go quickly.

I don’t have any plans to teach a seminar, and don’t really feel qualified to do it. But I am more than happy to answer individuals’ questions or help others in any way I can.

Where can people get a copy or more information about Dancing In Heaven?

You can read a brief summary, a few excerpts, and what others are saying about the book at the Dancing in Heaven page on my blog. Dancing in Heaven is available in print and for the Kindle at Amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble online in print (they actually have it discounted 10%) and for the Nook . It is also available in other ebook formats from Smashwords .

I love to hear comments or answer questions from individuals who have read Dancing in Heaven. They can do that on the page at my blog.

View the original article on blogcritics.org

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A Ghostly Tale Near the Ohio River

100-4602This week at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio, I was helping to arrange a fundraiser to benefit the YWCA and global hunger relief efforts. Not far from the campus, located in Delhi Township, is the Ohio River.

You can see the river from certain vantage points looking down from the Mount. And since it’s Halloween, it’s worth mentioning a tale about a graveyard hidden away in the woods.

Many years ago, when nightfall came, residents of Delhi reported mysterious lights and the eerie tune of a fiddler coming from the graveyard. So scared were the residents that no one dared go to the cemetery. Was this a ghost? No one knew. Would anyone ever know?

In the 1960’s, a Mount St. Joseph professor, Cecil Hale, appeared to have found the answer. Henry Darby (1781-1852), a prominent abolitionist, lived right near the site of the graveyard.

scan0041Hale found out the ghost reports started during the time of the Underground Railroad. This was the secret network that guided slaves to freedom, and was extremely active in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Hale believed the strange lights and music at the graveyard were signals to slaves across the river in Kentucky that it was safe to cross. He wrote a play called the Legend of Fiddler’s Green which tells this story.

scan0040The Ohio River was indeed a major route on the Underground Railroad. So active was the area that the Underground Railroad Freedom Center was eventually located in Cincinnati.

Was this ghostly legend one way that residents of Delhi were secretly working to help operate the Underground Railroad? It appears reasonable that the ghostly mystery is indeed solved. Wait! There are some lights coming from over the hill from the direction of the college. And a strange eerie tune. Oh Great!

The global hunger relief fundraiser is to benefit the Catholic Relief Services school feeding program in Sudan, the Aschiana Foundation, and Edesia, a non-profit organization which produces plumpy’nut. For more information please write here.

Article first published as A Ghostly Tale Near the Ohio River on Blogcritics. (article first published in October 2010)

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