Century High School senior Josh Turskey describes himself as someone who is big into community service and on Saturday he organized an event that reaches far beyond his community.
Turskey was one of about 500 volunteers who packed 108,864 meals of rice and potato mixes for children around the world through the non-profit organization Feed My Starving Children.
Turskey and a group of friends have been working since November to organize the event. In the process they have raised $22,000 for the cause through a variety of fundraisers, including a student vs. faculty basketball, a car wash, and online donations.
"I call it an act of God," Turskey said of being able to raise so much in a year.
Feed My Starving Children, founded in 1987, is a Christian non-profit that sends volunteer packed meals to nearly 70 countries where they are used to operate orphanages, schools and clinics.
Turskey said the meals packed by volunteers for nine hours Saturday are enough to feed 298 children for a year.
He said the meals could be shipped to Haiti, Nicaragua or the Philippines, although he is not sure exactly where they will go.
This is the first year such an event has been held at Century.
Three years ago Turskey participated in a charity event at LifePoint Church in Reisterstown where volunteers packed more than 128,000 meals to be distributed to starving children throughout the world.
Turskey said he was so moved by the experience and then disappointed when the church did not continue the event the following year.
He said he felt God calling him to start this event at Century.
About half of the volunteers this weekend were from Century with the other half just being community members.
Turskey said he is hopeful the event becomes an annual event at Century and he is willing to mentor anyone who would like to continue the event after he graduates.
"I would just love that to see the compassion and the heart that kids at our school have," he said.
For more information on the event or to donate, visit http://www.every5seconds.us.