TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Peanut butter may be a lunchtime staple for you or your child but it can be a life-saver for those in Haiti living in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake earlier this year.

There’s some big smiles to go along with big stacks of peanut butter jars that will be heading to Haiti soon. More than 2,000 jars of peanut butter is the pay-off of two months worth of work from the youth group at Memorial United Methodist Church.

“Ripped my heart really,” said youth fellowship member Evan Keiser, “just how badly they were down there, eating those mud cookies as the worst.”

Mud cookies are mostly dirt with just a little oil and salt then baked. Haitians can buy them for about a penny to help from feeling so hungry.

“It was just so shocking to hear,” said fellowship member Mallory Metheny, “but we couldn’t just listen, we had to do something about it.”

That’s exactly what they did. The youth group raised awareness and motivated others in the church to give, along with getting the word out to other congregations.

“The Missions Committee challenged them to fill a semi,” said youth director Kelli Miller, “we were like, ‘if we can fill the back seat of a van, we’ll be happy’.”

Sunday’s (July 25) party was an ecstatic event, far exceeding Miller’s expectations.

The youth group also raised an additional $1,000 that will be sent down to help buy bread.

It will be passed out in food baskets through the Waves of Mercy Mission in Port-de-Paix.

“Whenever they receive a gift like this, they are so filled with joy that someone has cared enough to give it to them,” said Waves of Mercy Board member John Davis.

So the hands who need it most will be getting it soon. That’s the real pay-off for everyone involved.

“I’m so happy because Haiti is going to get them,” said Keiser, “that it feeds so many people with just a jar of peanut butter, it will put so many smiles on their faces.”

“… we had to do something about it.”

– Mallory Metheny