VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Aidan Ryan plans to study finance at the University of San Diego, making his efforts to raise funds for local food banks a kind of entry-level lesson in finance. Rather than maximizing profit, the 17-year-old was trying to figure out how to maximize impact.
Over the last two years, Aidan Ryan has managed Feeding Clark County, a campaign that collected $109,960 and 8,500 pounds of food split between the Clark County Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul in Vancouver. Managing money, being efficient and soliciting donations in the right way were a couple other lessons Aidan Ryan learned. He rallied his peers at Seton Catholic College Preparatory School, along with King’s Way Christian School; his sister, Erin Ryan, got her peers at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School involved, too.
“A food and funds drive of this size, especially a food and funds drive done by students, is just unheard of,” said Matt Edmonds, program manager at the Clark County Food Bank.
Not only does it help families, but the work inspires other students to get involved, Edmonds said.
“This is kind of strange and odd and weird because this never happens where someone like yourself does so much good for helping people who are hungry in our community,” Alan Hamilton, the food bank’s executive director, told the pair of siblings. What they did, he said, helps “real people with names and addresses and kids and lives.”