Lunchboxes serve a purpose

When Jenny Radabaugh contacted EVE Inc. about participating in the “Lunchbox Love” program to provide lunchboxes for children in EVE programs, she was surprised by what she learned.

“I had no idea how many children they served here, and I was flabbergasted when she told me it was over 100,” said Radabaugh, a consultant for Initial Outfitters, a direct sales, home party business.

Now, Radabaugh’s looking for sponsors to pay $20 to cover a colorful, insulated lunchbox, shipping, tax and goodies to be stuffed inside. They will be given to youngsters staying at EVE’s shelter and participating in its childrens group, but the benefits don’t end in Washington County.

“Not only will these children get the lunchboxes, which helps people right here in our community, but … 100 percent of the profits are used to fund new and existing Charlie’s Lunchrooms,” Radabaugh said.

Charlie’s Lunch is an evangelical Christian ministry that provides food to children in need in under-developed communities. Initial Outfitters sponsors a dozen Charlie’s Lunchrooms in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Zambia and India, as well as the Charlie’s Lunch Orphanage. The lunchrooms partner with local churches to provide food and Bible study in honor of Charlie Stewart, a boy born with a serious heart defect whose generosity of spirit inspired his parents to start the ministry, according to www.charlieslunch.com.

When Patricia Schaad, children’s program coordinator for EVE, heard Radabaugh’s proposal, she liked the idea.

“I was very excited, because a lot of times we do have parents, they don’t have the means to go out and get their kids the nice lunchboxes,” she said.

The EVE shelter has played host to children from birth to 18 who have been affected by domestic violence, Schaad said. Even after they leave the shelter, they often come back as part of the kids group, which provides educational programming and craft time.

Receiving something like one of the lunchboxes is “like another Christmas for them,” Schaad said.

“They are so excited when they get things. And it can be the smallest thing,” she said. “Anytime that you can make them feel special turns that light on in a child’s eyes.”

Radabaugh wants to raise money for at least 100 lunchboxes. She sent flyers to local businesses and also posted about the program on Facebook. Anyone who wants to participate can contact her at davejenny@suddenlink.net or 373-7340 in the evenings or Schaad at evechildren@suddenlinkmail.com or 374-5820.

Radabaugh is asking for sponsors by Jan. 26 so the lunchboxes can be distributed for Valentine’s Day.