Why Friends Matter

Posted on September 26, 2012


There are the obvious reasons, such as having shopping buddies, people to talk to about personal matters, a personal cheerleading squad, party pals, etc.

One more entry was added today to my list of reasons why friends are important: Friends can make you better people.

About three days ago, I decided to create a group on Freerice.com so I could invite my high school friends to join me in doing what we can to fight world hunger. Freerice.com is an online trivia game where each correct answer equals 10 grains of rice that will be donated through the World Food Programme by sponsors whose ads show on-screen whenever a correct answer is given.

I met this group of friends when I was still living in the Philippines. We went to the Ateneo de Zamboanga University and we belonged to the St. Campion class of 2004. Some of us now live outside the Philippines, so we have different time zones, and not all of us are online on Facebook at the same time, but we all have remained great friends throughout the years and try to constantly communicate through whatever way possible. I thought that it might be a little tricky get as many of them as possible to join my Freerice group, but I still posted a message on our group’s Facebook page and told them about Freerice, just to see what response I’d get. I asked them to play just whenever they have the time and see how far we can go.

Only within three days, seven people from our class are now members of Campion 2004’s Freerice group, and we’ve raised over 26,000 grains of rice already. According to Freerice’s FAQs, about 48 grains equal to 1 gram of rice, and about 400 grams feed one person for an entire day (including other ingredients to total about 2100kcals). So with what we have now, we can already feed one person an entire day’s worth of rice, and then some, by just going on the internet, which we already do a lot, and answering very simple questions.

On top of that, our group agreed to join Freerice’s birthday challenge. Freerice is turning five on October 07, 2012, and there will be a 5-day celebration from October 03 to October 07. Part of their celebration is asking supporters to participate in a challenge within the 5-day timeframe. Our group decided to join, and our challenge will be to get more people from our class to participate, and each member of our Freerice group must aim to answer at least 500 questions (5,000 grains worth) within the 5-day timeframe, in addition to whatever we’ll already have before October 03.

The enthusiasm brought on by playing and helping through Freerice also led to spreading information about Freerice and fighting world hunger. A couple of my friends already shared links to Freerice through Facebook, one already asked if she could invite her brother to join (Great idea to include our family members, too, by the way), and we’ve been actively seeking through social media for more members of our group to join, especially for the upcoming challenge.

Twelve years ago, we were just freshmen, unsure of how we’d all get along, especially knowing that we’d be stuck with the same group of people for four years. A few years ago, we had to come together to find ways to raise enough money for our classmate’s heart surgery, and unfortunately, his funeral. Today, we’re fighting world hunger.

What better friends could I have asked for?

Posted in: Events, Hunger/Food