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FROM THE COVER | THE KANSAS CITY STAR.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2012

A21

DONORS: Blue Valley teens organize a nonprofit to help feed kids “What we realized is we live in a very privileged area where we don’t see hungry kids.”

FROM A20

in case anyone brought food, set the first dozen bags of groceries on a table in the lobby. Jan Kohl of Overland Park, one of Lillig’s Facebook friends, had stopped by the school on her way to work in downtown Kansas City and unloaded bulging bags from her car. After reading about the children at Guadalupe, she had shared the story on her page. Friends quietly showed up on her doorstep with sacks of food. “I had never seen anything like this,” Kohl said. “But I was thrilled that it was happening and thrilled it was happening locally.” The one table that SanchezChastain had set up for the food was quickly overrun. Nine tables couldn’t hold all the food. People from as far away as St. Louis stopped by Our Lady of Guadalupe that morning with bags of groceries. They came by car, truck and van with loads of groceries, stuffed animals and toys. Some dropped off checks or dug into their pockets and handed Sanchez-Chastain $10 and $20 bills. Fruit, vegetables and bags of rice, beans and dried pasta eventually filled an entire classroom. “I was blown away by the response,” Sanchez-Chastain said. “We started with the tables, then filled the hallway, then the classroom.” Only 18 hours had passed since Lillig made that first cell-

TYLER KUNKEL; HE AND SAM MALLORY ARE CO-PRESIDENTS OF JUSTONE

works in the mailroom of an area company, got a call from a friend, and after work she rushed to the school hoping there would be food left. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw that classroom,” said Hernandez, who has a kindergartner attending the school and five other children — ages 2 to

17 — whom she wouldn’t have been able to feed that holiday. “I came late and the classroom was still full of food,” Hernandez said. “I’m so grateful. Sometimes we get so caught up in our problems that we forget the goodness of people.” Volunteers delivered some of the food to families who had no way to get to the school. At one house, Sanchez-Chastain found “a family so poor there were no locks on the doors, so you could just push the door open,” she said. “There were no lights, no heat. They were cooking on a bat-

tery-operated burner.” That evening Lillig made another post. “We were able to serve over 25 families, start a food pantry in the school, and start a backpack program for our students in need. All in less than a day! Everyone was beyond overwhelmed at the response. Families with hungry children sobbed in gratitude knowing that someone out there cared.” To contact Mará Rose Williams, call 816-234-4419 or send email to mdwilliams@kcstar.com. To contact Laura Bauer, call 816-234-4944 or send email to lbauer@kcstar.com.

HELP FEED SUBMITTED

A group of Blue Valley School District teenagers plans to organize sports tournaments for the purpose of donating money to Harvesters. In justONE are (back row from left) Ben Tenbrink, Tucker Mallory, Tyler Kunkel, Joe Mallory, Connor Luchtefeld, (front row from left) Sam Mallory, Blake Goodale and David Pickett.

phone post. Sanchez-Chastain and other volunteers called school families that they knew needed food. Many of those families called the parents of other needy children at the school, and

KANSAS CITY’S

they also got food for the holiday weekend. “It was very eye-opening to see just how many families needed the help,” Schramp said. Christina Hernandez, who

HUNGRY CHILDREN Read each day in The Star about children who don’t always have enough to eat and the people and organizations working to help them.

In a hurting economy, Spain finds other way to celebrate World’s richest lottery spreads $3.3 billion among many winners around the country. By HAROLD HECKLE The Associated Press

MADRID | Winners of Spain’s Christmas lottery — the world’s richest — celebrated Saturday where the top lucky tickets were sold, a moment of uplift for a country enduring another brutal year of economic hardship. The lottery sprinkled a treasure chest of $3.3 billion in prize money around the country. Champagne corks popped and festive cheer broke out in 15 towns where tickets yielding the maximum prize of $530,000, known as El Gordo (The Fat One), had been bought. A total of $687 million was won in the eastern Madrid suburb of Alcala de Henares alone. Among the top-prize winners were 50 former workers at metal parts factory Cametal who had formed a pool to buy tickets. Their company had filed for bankruptcy and ceased paying wages five months ago. “I’m bursting with joy. I haven’t fully taken it in yet,” said winner Josefina Ortega. “When others win you think to yourself it’ll never happen to you, but it has.” Unlike lotteries that generate a few big winners, Spain’s version — now celebrating its 200th anniversary — has always shared the wealth more evenly instead of concentrating on vast jackpots, so thousands of tickets yield some kind of return. Almost all of Spain’s 46 million inhabitants traditionally watch at least some part of the live TV coverage showing schoolchildren singing out winning numbers for the lottery It is so popular that frequent-

ly three $26 tickets are sold for every Spaniard. Many consider lottery day as the unofficial kickoff of the holiday season. Before Spain’s property-led economic boom collapsed in 2008, ticket buyers often yearned to win so they could buy small apartments by the beach or new cars. Now people said they needed money just to get by or to avoid being evicted from their homes. Though ticket sales were down 8.3 percent on last year, according to the National Lottery, in the days preceding the draw hundreds of people lined up to buy tickets outside outlets that have sold winning tickets before. Dolores Perez and Teresa Palacio, two lottery outlet workers in north Madrid who sold a top-prize ticket, celebrated with sparkling wine as curious neighbors gathered. The fortunate winner had yet to make an appearance. “I had never sold a Christmas Gordo before. I almost thought it didn’t exist,” said Perez. “I’m so happy, I’ve worked here for 30 years and never before sold a Gordo, until now.” Since so many people chip in to buy tickets in groups, top prizes frequently end up being handed out in the same small town or in one city neighborhood. Spain holds another big lottery Jan. 6 to mark the Feast of the Epiphany. It is known as El Nino (The Child), in reference to the baby Jesus. But the crisis will hit El Nino and all lotteries going forward. Until now, lottery winnings have been free from taxation, but now prizes above $2,640 will be liable to a 20 percent tax in 2013. The government has imposed stinging austerity measures this year in a bid to prevent Spain from asking for a full-blown bailout like those

granted to Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus. Spain’s unemployment stands at 25 percent, and its economy is sinking into a double-dip recession.

feedingkckids.harvesters.org

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DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

This woman donned a costume to watch the Spanish Christmas lottery drawing in Madrid on Saturday. The top prize was about $530,000.

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Hunger - Donors take on (3)