Starting in high school I’ve organized friends to do charitable deeds. One example is when our football coach’s house was egged, I organized some students to clean it off. As a member of Student Council, I helped start the foreign exchange program at our school. It is part of who I am. This comes from my ancestors.
Since the late 1980’s I’ve been a hunger advocate. A friend invited me to hear Art Simon, founder of Bread for the World (BFW, www.bread.org), at our church. Art asked if we could write letters to our congressional representatives in Washington, DC about hunger bills. My kids were young, but I knew this would not take too much time.
The letters expanded to ask others at my church to write letters, too. Then I asked people at our church synod assembly (120 churches) to write letters. I joined the synod ELCA Hunger Appeal team for ten years. That allowed me to speak at other churches.
After a few years, I went to Washington, DC for the annual BFW conference to meet with my Congressmen in person asking them to support hunger legislation. It was so amazing, I went a few other times. I also met with them in their state offices. My passion to reduce hunger is so great that I just cannot stay silent about it.
At my first meeting with Senator Durbin, D-IL, when asked what we could do to help him, told us, “Get the people in the suburbs behind this.” I’ve always remembered this and the saying “silence is approval”. When we don’t get involved and learn what are the root causes of hunger and poverty we not being followers of Jesus.
Giving food or money to the food pantry is necessary and important, but does not address the root causes of hunger. With one stroke of the pen our president can reduce hunger funds that our pantries cannot make up. About 85% of food aid comes from the government.
What will you do? Choose what is in your heart. Do what you can and then try to do a little more and encourage others to join you. When your family or friends get tired of you asking, spread your influence in your church or other organizations in your area. Once you start looking, you will find others who care about your issue as much as you do. You encourage each other.
Contact me for specific ways you can help. I will write a plan for you that considers how much time you have each month and your resources.