We recently welcomed Chessney Barrick to our staff as National Relationship Director. Chessney comes to ORPHANetwork with 10 years of non-profit experience, having served as Director of Development and Marketing at Stop Hunger Now and as Founder of Fill the Bowls. Chessney has been serving as a volunteer with ORPHANetwork since 2007.
In this week’s blog article, we feature Chessney’s reflections on following her Calling to Nicaragua and her new role at ORPHANetwork.
In 2007 I traveled to Nicaragua as a student leader with my church. I had recently been hired as the Director of Development with Stop Hunger Now, a hunger relief organization. We witnessed the work ORPHANetwork was doing in impoverished communities to break the cycle of poverty.
A powerful collaborative partnership started to take shape, the goal was to get rice/soy fortified meals donated to support the development of a new ORPHANetwork feeding center program in a community serving 1,200 kids. In 2009, ORPHANetwork received its first shipment of 285,000 fortified rice meals to serve this one community. To date, ORPHANetwork’s feeding programs have evolved to 285 Local Church Initiatives serving more than 22,000 kids. To date, Stop Hunger Now has donated more than 6.2 million meals.
Each time I visited Nicaragua thereafter, I left awe-inspired. The impact of the ministry was clear, ORPHANetwork and its partners were changing the lives of children and creating new opportunities for their future. I challenged myself to consider making a decision on how I was going to commit both professionally and personally to this cause. I went from thinking about it to doing it.
This lead me to founding Fill the Bowls.
In the organization’s inaugural year we partnered with ORPHANetwork to launch four Life Changing Local Church Initiatives in Matagalpa, one of the least food secure regions of Nicaragua. We are delighted to report that 412 children are being nourished through daily hot meals, medical care, spiritual development and so much more.
God has lead me every step of the way in this journey to answer His Call to serve children in Nicaragua. He opened the door for me to go all-in. I am thrilled to serve as National Relationship Director for ORPHANetwork.
ORPHANetwork partners with churches, non-profits, individual investors and families to build long-term relationships with national leaders, children and parents of each community we serve. Working together we address the specific needs of each community, continually working towards the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty through health, education and jobs.
God has answered my prayer. He has used my journey over the past 10 years and more than 20 trips to Nicaragua to equip me to serve alongside the passionate ORPHANetwork staff and supporters who have dedicated their lives to this ministry.
Through committing myself to working with kids, I hope to encourage others to pour themselves into what matters most to them. How will you go from thinking about it to doing it?
To learn how you can take action click here.