For 30 hours, 13 students ages 12 and older went without food to raise money for those who often go hungry.
Those who live in extreme poverty survive on less than $1.25 daily, said Kathy Wither, youth director at Messiah Lutheran Church, 324 Howard St. in South Williamsport.
"That's less than our kids spend on lunch," she said.
That money goes toward feeding, sheltering and clothing families. So often, families have to improvise. Some people live in makeshift houses between rocks.
One story that stuck with Wither is of a 6- year-old girl whose parents work from the time they awaken to when they go to sleep growing crops to survive. With no toys, the girl turned a battery into a toy and pretended to cook with it.
"There's always enough food in her game," Wither said.
All of the money raised goes to World Vision, which seeks to end poverty and injustice worldwide.
This is the ninth year the church participated in the 30-hour famine.
Last year, they raised more than $5,200. So far this year, they have raised more than $3,400 and donations still are being collected.
"It gets our kids thinking globally," she said.
From noon on a Friday until 6 p.m. Saturday in March, the kids ate nothing. They could drink juice, but some chose only water.
The hunger is not bad - at first, said Jerod Barone, a freshman at Williamsport Area High School.
"At first, you don't feel hungry at all, but when you get close, you're dying for it."
A full weekend of events was planned to keep the youth busy.
The group was broken down into tribes, which represented different countries. Each person picks up the identity of a child and must mimic their disability. One could not use his hands well because they were bandaged. One person was mute. One had a broken leg.
One person had malaria and had to wear heavy jackets so that running produced a fever as it would with the disease.
"It's a learning experience," Wither said. "They have fun, but at the same time, they're learning."
To break the fast, everyone ate Plumpy Nut, or peanut butter on steroids. Plumpy Nut is nutritious and high in calories.
People who are so starved their arms are no bigger than two fingers cannot eat too much food at once or they will get sick.
A problem with the fundraiser is that some people want the church members to help locally, not globally.
Wither said they already do a lot locally through Family Promise, Habitat for Humanity and gift and food baskets.
"The kids want to reach out and help," she said. "Even the poorest person in America is better of than some of those people."
Sean Wither, a freshman at South Williamsport Area High School, likes that the organization does so much to help people.
"They don't just feed the people," he said. "They go in and sustain the communities. They help them get back on their feet."
World Vision helps educate people in need so they can take care of themselves and keeps offering support until they can be on their own.
Wither has participated in the famine for three years, since he was able to do it.
"I feel like we should help everyone, not just people in our own area," he said.
For more information on the organization, visit WorldVision.org. Donations will be accepted for Messiah Lutheran and can be given online at messiahsouth.org/youth or mailed to the church.