Faith

From One Direction to Rwanda: Josh Devine’s Journey of Charity

Drummer calls his personal outreach 'greatest moment of my life'

Josh Devine is only 25 years old, but already he’s toured the globe as drummer for the international boy-band sensation, One Direction.

Devine had been traveling with the band since he was chosen as drummer in 2011. When the band went on hiatus, he decided to use his platform to give back — and partnered with Food for the Hungry, a Christian organization serving the world’s poor since 1971.

“That was the greatest moment of my life so far. It’s pretty hard to top that.”

“I went down to an event in downtown L.A. a couple of years ago,” Devine told LifeZette. “Jeff [Gilbert] stepped out on stage and started talking about Food for the Hungry. I just sat there and listened. I got all the stories and everything this incredible organization is doing, and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head.”

“I said [to myself], ‘Right, this is it, you need to sponsor a child and see what else you can do.’ This is really what you have a passion for,” said Devine.

Jeff Gilbert, who works with Food for the Hungry, shared the details of his first meeting with Devine. “He said, ‘Listen, the band is going on hiatus at the end of the year and I’ve been thinking about what’s next during that break. And I would love to get involved with you.’ I said, ‘Awesome, sponsor a kid,’ and he said, ‘Well, I can do more than that,’ and I said, ‘I’m sure you can do more than that, but let’s just start there and see what happens,'” recalled Gilbert.

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About a week later Devine called Gilbert — he was very touched by a letter he’d received.

“I got a letter that one of my family members forwarded to me from Evaride, the kid I sponsor … I don’t even know what to say,” said Devine.

“It really affected him deeply,” Gilbert remembered. “And I said, ‘You’re getting it and that’s why I wanted you to just sponsor a child. I knew the organization would just speak for itself if it came from a child who was directly affected by your support.'”

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But Devine didn’t stop there — he traveled with Food for the Hungry to Rwanda to visit.

“That was the greatest moment of my life so far. It’s pretty hard to top that,” said Devine about meeting the child he sponsored — which is especially revealing considering the worldwide fame he has experience.

“I was grinning from ear to ear, I was so happy. Especially for people who sponsor kids and are giving money every month, they are still so far away you can’t just reach out and touch that person. To actually be in Rwanda and spend time with him and his family, it was one of the biggest blessings I think I could have had in my life,” said Devine.

He decided to “sweepstakes” his drum kit from the One Direction tour, meaning fans can buy entries to win this iconic piece of One Direction history — and the money from that sweepstakes goes to Food for the Hungry. The sweepstakes is open until Dec. 31.

Another reason Devine has chosen this worthy organization to help is that “100 percent of everything is going to the village,” he explained.

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“For me, it was: ‘How can I not want to do more [with this organization]?'” said Devine. “I’ve been given an incredible platform to do with it what I will, really … I would rather use my platform to try and help other people. At the end of the day, that’s what I feel we need a little bit more of, so I’m just trying to do my part.”

And when asked if he would want to get any of the other members of his world-famous band involved in Food for the Hungry, Devine simply said, “If any of them want to get involved, 100 percent I’m more than happy to — but the same thing for anyone who wants to get involved.”

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