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Say cheese . . . Calvin Community Church youth group are all smiles before ending their 40-hour famine with a pizza feed on Sunday

A group of young people with an appetite for helping others has raised more than $3000 and counting.

Calvin Community Church youth group members raised the sum during the annual World Vision 40 Hour Famine, which was held last weekend.

The church youth pastor Jacob Esveld said it was the second-largest amount raised by a church group in the whole country.

“It’s not a competition, but it is a good cause to be competitive for,” Mr Esveld said.

This year money raised would go to Malawi, with the aim of alleviating hunger and poverty for young people there.

A sponsored fast over the weekend was the main event, but donations were still being accepted.

“We’ll be fundraising till the end of July.”

The group gathered during the weekend for mutual support during their fast.

“It’s never easy. We started at 7pm on Friday. We shared a big meal together.”

The group spent the weekend playing games together and held a bonfire at Camp Columba before a pizza lunch on Sunday.

Covid-19 had not stood in the way of fundraising, Mr Esveld said.

“This year World Vision is more online.”

Fundraising online was easier than the traditional way of collecting in person.

People could create a profile and share it with all their online contacts, who could then make a payment online.

“Networking is a lot easier.

“It’s been hugely successful.”

Gore Baptist Church youth pastor Amanda Polstra was also overseeing a fundraising effort for the 40 Hour Famine.

“We’ve got about 25 people involved,” Mrs Polstra said.

They had postponed their famine event for another week, due to Covid-19.

“We’re only just getting started with the fundraising. Our goal is to raise $2000.”