City wide food drive honors terminally ill boy
By Sue LincolnPosted Aug 28, 2013
Trevor Sims is dying. The 10-year-old, who has been battling skeletal muscle cancer for five years, wants to leave this world a better place. His wish is to feed the hungry and homeless, and the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank is asking for the public’s help to make that wish come true.
Trevor’s City Wide Food Drive is set for Sept. 1-7. Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden has declared the week “Trevor’s Wish – Help Feed the Hungry Week” to honor the boy’s hope.
“You can make a difference every day,” Trevor said in a news release by the Food Bank.
Trevor was five when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, tumors in the skeletal muscle tissue that affect a small percentage of children who do develop cancer. He underwent 18 months of chemotherapy at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee. While there, when he was six, his story came to the attention of ultra long-distance runner Paul Sibley. Sibley, a Louisiana native who now lives in Hawaii, has since run hundreds of miles to raise money and awareness for Trevor’s illness.
Trevor’s doctors have told him and his family that the cancer has now become terminal. Despite that, he’s been active this summer. He participated in Camp Care – a weeklong camp for kids with cancer – and got to run around, playing football at the LSU practice facility. He’s also been the beneficiary of a local company called “Games on the Fly”. The business has been taking its video game trailer to Trevor’s house regularly, giving him the chance to try out new games. On the company’s Facebook page, they’ve also been helping raise money for the Sims family, and they are also helping promote the upcoming Food Drive.
DIG was unable to speak directly with Trevor, as his family says he needs to conserve his strength for the drive. But we were able to talk with Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank events coordinator Emily Zering.
“We just want to help Trevor make his wish come true,” Zering said. “We haven’t set a goal for this drive.”
The drive is coming at an opportune time for the Food Bank, which serves an 11-parish area, as resources have been depleted and the traditional time for large donations comes in November and December.
“Summer is the toughest time for the Food Bank, and for the people of Baton Rouge who live with food insecurity,” Zering said. “Demand for services increases in summer, as children – students – who receive up to two meals a day at their schools, aren’t getting that nutritional support.”
Although kids are now back in school, the problem of “food insecurity” continues. Zering said it’s an issue that has grown sharply in recent years.
“It’s a regional and national problem, as the economy has made it harder for people to pay all their bills and put food on the table,” she said. “And the economy has also put more than a few markets out of business, making access to groceries even more difficult.”
Area grocery stores, like Calandro’s, Matherne’s and Winn-Dixie, as well as other area businesses, such as CC’s Coffee Houses and Walgreen’s, are hosting barrels for collection of foodstuffs during the week of Trevor’s Drive. The Food Bank is also accepting monetary donations, which can go a long way toward making Trevor’s wish come true.
“One dollar can provide five meals,” Zering said, “and there are ways to designate your donation for Trevor.”
They’re asking donors to note “Trevor” in the comments section of any donation check.
There’s also a push to promote this event through social media. You can “like” the “Trevor Sims’ Wish: City Wide Food Drive (Baton Rouge)” page on Facebook, and use the hashtag #TrevorsWish to connect followers to your posts.
For, as Trevor Sims says, “All the little things count.”