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Teens Embracing Social Media to Fight Hunger

With the 30 Hour Famine event less than forty days away, Christian relief and development organization World Vision has reported a big jump in the number of teens signing up to participate in the April 26 – 27 event.

The charity says one of the reasons is an emphasis this year on social media outreach. Last April, 30 Hour Famine (30HF) reported more than 3,200 groups signing up to do 30HF.

This year, more than 3,500 have signed up, an almost eight (7.8) percent jump. This year, almost a quarter million teens will fast to fight global hunger. 30HF is claimed to be the world’s largest teen hunger awareness campaign.

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Since 30HF began in 1992, teens have raised more than $150 million to fight global hunger. The United Nations says in 1992, 40,000 children died from hunger and preventable causes. Today it’s 19,000, still too high but proof that efforts like 30HF are helping.

According to World Vision, the number of 30HF Facebook likes (31,701) has also jumped 8 percent from last year (26,599).

“Our research says teens are more inclined to act on social justice issues when they hear about these causes from social media,” says Leah Swindon, 30HF national director.

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According to a new study, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of World Vision, more than half of teens (56%) say social media sites (Facebook, Twitter) have made them more aware of the needs of others, a big jump from 2011, when just over 4 in 10 (44%) said their use of social media made them more aware.

On April 26 – 27, World Vision will give control of the 30HF website to teens across America so they can use social media to fight world hunger. Teens go without food for 30 hours to get a taste of what the world’s poorest children face.

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Prior to the event, teens raise funds by explaining that $1 can help feed and care for a child a day. Teens consume only water and juice as they participate in local community service projects at food banks and homeless shelters.

In some major U.S. cities 30HF volunteers will work in World Vision Storehouses. Last year, 30HF raised $9.8 million to fight hunger. This year’s goal: $10.5 million.

Tonight, according to World Vision, 870 million people worldwide will go to bed hungry. Funds raised this year for 30HF will be sent to 10 countries including Haiti, Burundi and this year for the first time, 30HF funds will help fight hunger in the U.S. More information is at 30hourfamine.org or facebook.com/wv30HF

Photo courtesy: World Vision

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