Chelsea Lemcke, Hunger Walk participant, crocheter, “Hats for Hunger” fundraiser, and Trinity Lutheran Church member, shares her passion for fighting hunger:
My story isn’t exactly mine. It belongs to the whole congregation, and I’m just a small piece of it.
I started Hats for Hunger in my senior year of high school. I had been crocheting for six years before that, and I was inspired by my church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Lilburn, and their enthusiasm for the Atlanta Hunger Walk to do something with my “talent.”
Looking back on it now, I was just a beginner. I was selling mediocre hats at $5 and $10 a piece because I knew they weren’t stellar quality. In fact, it was so pathetic, as my mom often tells me, that she told me she would match whatever funds I raised that year for fear I would be disheartened. Fortunately, the people in my congregation at Trinity were moved by my tiny project, and they gave wholeheartedly. I ended up raising just over $100, and I remember being so excited as I watched my mom grin and pull out her checkbook.
For the past five years after that moment, hunger relief has been my passion. Our youth group volunteered at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and I did so many speeches for my communications classes on hunger in the United States that it made my teachers and professors laugh. When my boyfriend started excitedly suggesting ways to make Hats for Hunger more efficient and effective, I knew I was in love.
It’s a good thing I’ve gotten a lot of practice crocheting, because this year, from donations and hat sales, Hats for Hunger has made over $800.
I am beyond grateful to be a part of a community that cares so deeply for its neighbors. Every year I watch as congregations from churches and synagogues and mosques around Atlanta act as God’s hands in our community, streaming from Turner Field. I am humbled by the amazing outpouring of love I see from the incredible group of people who raised me–the people who bought a fuzzy hat from a dreamer all those years ago.
I hope my story is evidence of what an awesome impact Hunger Walk has on so many communities around Atlanta.
There’s still time to register for this year’s Hunger Walk/Run on March 13th at Turner Field in Atlanta. Click here to register.