How the First Twenty Years Began…
The Story Behind Children's Hunger Fund
For twenty years, Children's Hunger Fund has served Children in need across America and around the world! And what an amazing twenty years it has been. So far, friends like you have helped us distribute 1 billion dollars in food and other resources to serve the needs of more than 10 million children in thirty-five US states and seventy-two countries worldwide. And that is just the beginning!
We are looking forward to further growth, serving more and more children in need. As we celebrate this twenty-year milestone, we look toward all that lies ahead, and we look back so that we never forget where we came from...
We sat down with Dave Phillips, president of Children’s Hunger Fund, and asked him to tell us, in his own words, how CHF began.
Shortly after my college years, God completely redirected my life path. I took a trip down to Honduras and visited a children’s cancer treatment facility. It was a small, three-room house with dirt floors. When I walked into that little house there were about ninety kids! All of them were under six years old, and all of them were deemed terminal by the nearby children’s hospital. It was basically a holding area for those children for a few days until they passed away. There was a missionary couple—the only two staff. Their vision for the facility was just to love those children before God took them home. Literally, my heart just broke. I had been exposed to poverty before through missions work, but this was the first time I had seen suffering kids to that degree.
When I came back to LA, I felt compelled to move to Honduras to serve those kids. I didn’t end up moving, but I responded to God’s pull on my heart while working for a Christian relief organization in Hollywood. I quickly learned that food can be a powerful tool, not just to meet physical needs in the lives of the poor, but to minister God’s compassion and to share the reality that the Creator of the universe loves them and wants to know them personally.
I served in that position for several years; however, I was never able to get the images of those kids in Honduras out of my head. I still had that burden. Lynn and I were in our second year of marriage and I remember one weekend I came home from work and said, “I think I am going to quit my job.” That weekend we went away and talked about our passions—we both had a heart to help children in need, and a deep desire to reach the next generation for Christ. We felt we could create an organization that would be a conduit to channel the resources and surplus of corporate America directly to needy children around the world. So we stepped out in faith and began Children’s Hunger Fund, using our garage as a warehouse.
Within the first month, I got a phone call from the director of the cancer treatment center in Honduras. He told me the name of a particular cancer drug the children needed. I jotted it down quickly on a scratch piece of paper. I hung up the phone, and before the receiver was even out of my hand, it rang again. It was a man with an unusual donation of a pediatric cancer drug. The name of the drug matched exactly with the scribble on my paper! Within days, we shipped that drug to the kids in Honduras and to others around the world. My faith was encouraged! I knew I was right where I needed to be, doing just what I needed to do.
I trust God will continue to do great things through CHF. What CHF has become is staggering and humbling to me. God has brought so many talented people around us to make the vision of CHF a reality. As we come into our twenty-year anniversary, it’s an exciting time for us. With all that has been accomplished, we believe the best is still ahead!