Never too late to take action
Chuck Bushey, 90, helps hungry children by raising $2,400 as a swimming standout supporting local organization Take Action
Take Action has been a remarkable success at gathering food to feed hungry Oregon school children.
In fact, to hear Michael and Janet Huber's story about their organization is pretty unbelievable.
But the most remarkable fundraising event ever for Take Action took place on Jan. 10. It raised a whopping $2,400. But the most unique thing about it was the man who did it was 90-year-old Charles 'Chuck' Bushey, who swam 40.67 laps.
With each lap he earned $45 for Take Action's till. Everyone involved was amazed.
'This was the first time anything like this has happened for us,' Mike Huber said.
'Chuck is such a dear, sweet man,' Janet Huber said. 'He raised $2,400. Isn't that amazing?'
Chuck Bushey is a dear, sweet fellow, and strong too.
'I've been doing the masters swimming test for 10 years now, and my daughter suggested why not make it a challenge,' Bushey said. 'I think their program is excellent. It is very, very worthwhile. I worked with them (the Hubers) in developing this as a fundraising program.'
Bushey's epic swim is only the latest feel-good story for the Hubers since they started Take Action two years ago. Starting out with one school, they now fill backpacks of food for nearly 300 school children every weekend, and they are adding new schools all the time.
It started in the spring of 2010 while they were at their church, Mountain Park Church of Lake Oswego. They heard about students at Sitton Elementary School in Portland smuggling hushpuppies home in their pockets so they would have something to eat on the weekends.
The Hubers decided to hold a food drive that would provide food for the youngsters for a week. Briefly, they congratulated themselves for their good deed. But it quickly occurred to them that there was so much more to do.
'We didn't intend to do anything like Take Action,' Janet Huber said. 'But we fell in love with these sweet little kids.'
'We decided these kids needed more than one week of food,' Mike Huber said.
The couple has been filling backpacks with food ever since, and in June of 2011, Take Action became an official nonprofit. The Hubers have proven to be as tireless as Bushey as they hold food drives at churches and colleges, often gathering stunning amounts of food and cash. They recently collected 2,500 pounds of food at Warner Pacific University.
Take Action has had an impact on a desperate need.
'It's a sad story,' Mike Huber said. 'Literally thousands of students have a lot of days where they suffer from food insecurity, despite the Oregon Food Bank and government programs. It's reported that half of the black kids in Oregon live in poverty.'
Take Action has literally been an answer to prayer.
'Pamela Newsome, the principal of Rosa Parks School, told us she had been waiting seven years for a food backpack program,' Mike Huber said.
Recently, the Hubers held a food drive at Carman Oaks in Lake Oswego, where they made the acquaintance of Bushey. The rest is swimming history.
'Swimming for such a good cause makes me try even harder,' Bushey said.
For more about Take Action, go to www.takeactioninc.org .