Keep Calling your Congressman! It takes just a moment... it's painless... and the message that you send to your elected official is priceless: "Keep your promise."
Although the spending bill for Fiscal Year 2007 includes $1 Billion more dollars than the last year, poverty-focused development assistance has experienced a serious blow dealt by the Congress. The additional funding, according to Bread for the World's analysis, is mostly allocated for global health programs. Long term development assistance and funding for international organizations were reduced by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 29.
It's overwhelming, isn't it? It seems to be common sense... we promise something... we deliver it... right? Unfortunately, I'm realizing that it isn't that easy. Despite our cries... the Congress heard us, and chose to do otherwise. So, do we give up? Do we throw our hands up in the air and say "Well, we tried... I made a phone call or two... I wrote my letter... that's all I can do."
You call again. You write again. You must visit your local elected official's office. You write... you blog... you cry... you wear crazy t-shirts... you slap on bumper stickers... and you call and write and scream until our country decides to keep our promises and eradicate extreme poverty in our lifetime!
It can be done... we just have to keep working.
I also found that it is helpful to maintain my motivation for making a difference by always becoming aware of the things in my life that contribute to extreme poverty. Perhaps I should encourage my local Starbucks to brew Fair-Trade Coffee and educate it's customers on why fairly traded goods are helping to bring people out of poverty. Perhaps I should buy groceries more responsibly and understand how to consume less of the world's resources by reading "More-With-Less: A World Community Cookbook." I should educate myself about where my clothing comes from and think of the person in a developing nation that made my clothes.
Just as we show our elected officials that behind poverty and hunger statistics, there are actual hungry people... perhaps, at the same time, we too should be placing a face behind the things that we encounter everyday. We should do more with less.
Keep calling and writing and blogging and fighting...
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