‘Worm Warriors’to hold annual banquet in Franconia
“Worm Warriors” from all over the rnited States and world will convene at Franconia Heritage Restaurant Friday, Sept. 21, to tell the stories of those helped by the Worm Project.
The Worm Project sprouted out of Claude Good’s missionary work in Mexico when he was in his 20s. Now in his 80s, Good grew his solution to the issues surroundLnJ SRvHUWy hH fiUVW wLWnHVVHG Ln a small mountain village decades ago to effect change in numerous countries.
“$W fiUVW WhH vLOODJH SHRSOH wHUH very unwilling to accept help from us because they thought we were spies trying to steal their land,” Good said. “But, as we gained their trust, they allowed us to begin to give them medicine.”
After noticing that worms were taking a toll on their health, Good and his girlfriend at the time (who became his wife), decided they needed to do something. All they were aware of was a liquid mediFLnH WhDW wDV GLIfiFuOW WR DGPLnLVter
Worms, such as the hookworm, enter the body through the feet; others enter through the mouth during their egg cycle, according to the Worm Project’s website, wormproject.org. Worms feed on their host’s blood and the nutrients in the digestive system. When located in the digestive system, they can become heavy feeders. Worms thrive in warm climates, where statistically more poverty thrives. The large Ascaris worm can consume up to 25 percent to 30 percent of a child’s daily intake of food. A child consumes about one pound of food a day and ridding a child of worms saves at least one ounce of food a day, which is about 20 pounds of food over the six months that a pill, which the couple later found out about, is effective, according to the website.
“Then we came back to the states and saw how much food everybody has up here. We decided to live as simply as possible,” Good said.
The couple saved the money they would have spent on food luxuries in order to return to the village high up in the mountains and provide medicine to help alleviate the problem of worms.
When they returned to Mexico City about a year later, they discovered a chewable tablet called Albendazole that could be bought in bulk for a reasonable amount of money. The drug treats the three parasitic worms that cause the greatest damage in the human body.
The Franconia Conference runs the Worm Project and hosts an annual banquet where it serves a “Third World Meal,” which this year will include beans, rice and a pickled cabbage-type dish. The meal is free of cost but donations are encouraged. The organizers of the event assure potential attendees that they will have plenty to eat.
“The uniqueness of the Worm Project is that we ask people to give up an item a day — a can of soda, Starbucks or eating out,” said Diana Geyhman, a board member. “Then we ask people to save the money they saved from cutting out that luxury and donate it back.”
The banquet will be held Friday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. at Franconia Heritage Restaurant, 508 Harleysville Pike, Franconia. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by calling 267-9326050 ext. 0, but walk-ins are welcome.