Passionate Teenager Raises Over $25,000 for Mercy Multiplied and Eating Disorder Awareness
November 6, 2016
One person’s passion and determination can make a big difference. After watching a friend overcome an eating disorder through the Mercy Multiplied program, 17 year old Kendall channeled her passion about eating disorder awareness and sought to make an impact. Kendall started a non-profit called Tampa Eating Disorder Initiative (TEDI) in order to raise money and awareness about eating disorders. In October, her organization held its first event, Feed Your Soul, raising over $25,000 for Mercy Multiplied.
We took some time to catch up with Kendall following the Feed Your Soul event and to celebrate her hard-work and impact in her community. Read her interview below:
How did you first hear about Mercy?
I first heard about Mercy when my mom’s best friend’s daughter went through the program because she was struggling with a severe eating disorder. Through her time at Mercy, she found freedom and is completely happy now. I saw firsthand how amazing an effect Mercy had on girls and was so moved.
Tell us a little more about your event.
We rented out a pavilion from our local church and set up a mini-festival of sorts. We had live musicians come and play, people from around the area, and had a bunch of fun activities set up, including a inflatable jumping house, face paint, coloring stations, photo booths, and all different sorts of foods. It was open for four hours. People came and went as they pleased.
Where did the idea for the event come from?
The idea came from something similar that I had seen online that had been super successful to raise money for cancer. I loved the idea and knew that I wanted to raise money and awareness for eating disorders because they are so prevalent in society, especially in Florida.
How many people attended your event?
We had about 200 people come out for the Feed Your Soul event. Each person received a t-shirt and took part in the events we were offering. So many people came out to support the event, students from our board members’ high schools, families and friends, and community members! It was so amazing!
How much did you raise?
As of right now, we raised about $25,000 but we have not received all the donations yet, so we are still waiting for that to come in.
What were some of your favorite moments of the event?
My favorite moment was when a student from my school came to sing, and everyone at the event was cheering her on while having fun coloring, taking photos, or jumping around. It was awesome to just take a look around the event to fully see the impact that a group of girls and a few adults can have when enough effort is put into something.
How do you see yourself as the “Me” in Mercy?
Before this event, I never really realized how much a single person can have an impact on something. I had always heard the phrase of “One person can make a difference,” but I never really understood what it meant. There were multiple people working hard on this event, and without every one of those, it would not have been possible. Every person made a difference in their own way on the event, and it was awesome to watch everyone define themselves individually while contributing to the whole thing. After I founded TEDI, I went to my closest friend and asked her to become Co-President with me, and this event would absolutely have not been successful if I had not had her by my side. Without my mom’s best friend, Kim, this event would have never gotten started because she took the idea I brought her, and helped us as we made it come to life.
Any other details you’d like to share?
I would just like everyone to know that although right now, this event started around the Tampa area, our goal in the future is to spread it farther to create “Feed Your Soul” events all around the United States!