Hunger gets canned by Helping Hands

Helping Hands’ Warehouse added 40,000 pounds of food to its shelves after Canstruction 2015.

 

“The previous highs were during last year’s Canstruction event: 35,000 pounds of food and 1,400 guests,” Executive Director Rucker Preston said.

 

They served 4,000 guests this year.

A carousel of cans stands on display at Canstruction. Courtesy Photo

A carousel of cans stands on display at Canstruction. Courtesy Photo

 

Canstruction is a worldwide charity event crafted from good hearts, cans and art.

 

As canstruction.org states, the event “showcases colossal structures made entirely out of full cans of food.”

 

After structures reach completion, they are organized for the public as a giant art exhibition. All the food is donated to local hunger relief organizations.

 

The charity has raised more than 25 million pounds of food since its founding in 1992. Canstruction events are held annually in more than 150 cities around the world on five continents.

 

Helping Hands brought the charity to Central Texas five years ago. This year, the art displays were as masterful as ever.

Volunteers unpack cans that were used during the event. Courtesy Photo

Volunteers unpack cans that were used during the event. Courtesy Photo

 

“Who isn’t impressed by carousel horses with beef jerky manes? Or a ship sailing on a river of tuna? Or Mr. T on a Wheaties box?” BSM director Shawn Shannon asked rhetorically.

 

She’s gathered students each year to help with the de-canstruction process.

 

Shannon has witnessed Canstruction become an established community experience.

 

“The structures themselves are always amazing, and the items for the silent auction will surely bless those who purchase them to bless others,” Shannon said. “Yet, I really like how well Helping Hands tells the story of needs seen and met through the mediums of pictures, pamphlets, video and testimonies. It is an amazing on-going story of goodness in action,” she said.

 

And what might Jesus canstruct if He participated?

 

“Whatever he would make, it would be good, true and lovely,” Shannon said. “Whose to say he wasn’t there?” She added.

 

“For an event like this to go as well as it did, I believe that God’s hand was at work well before and all during the event,” he said.

 

Central Texas houses many underprivileged families and individuals with great needs. Often, the need can seem too much to meet.

 

“Part of what I love about the work of Helping Hands is that they approach situations that most of us find overwhelming and move with Christ into these hard, otherwise impossible places for the good of people and the glory of God,” Shannon said.

 

She has seen how the Canstruction event brings the community closer: “There is something crucial about gathering together around the purpose of caring for those in need. Here we learn together about needs and opportunities,” she said.

 

“To be inspired is more than having feelings,” she continued. “It means to be in-breathed with that which brings Life. I am inspired to know, care and act, instead of remaining unaware, unresponsive and uninvolved.”

 

And with this year’s turnout and contributions hitting new highs, Central Texans in need will see the love of God evidenced by their full stomachs and full hearts.

Author: Tyler Agnew

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