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In Advocacy, 'Please' and 'Thank You' Have Power
Image by Flickr user Jon Ashcroft
After their Offering of Letters last month, members of Friedens United Church of Christ decided to use the letters they wrote (about 40 total) as an opportunity to meet with Sen. Dan Coats’ (R-IN) local office in Indianapolis, IN. Mike Hastings, one of the leaders of the local Bread group that organized the Offering, recounts:
A couple of us met with Ginny Cain, the regional director for the senator. We had a very good meeting and were able to share an overview of Bread, the Offering of Letters, and our concerns about protecting poverty-focused foreign assistance that fosters development and helps end hunger.
However, the really neat part is that part-way through our meeting, a staffer named Anne stuck her head in and said that it was part of her job to read all the letters that come to the senator's office. She said they had received hundreds of letters from Bread for the World! Anne also said they had recently heard from many members thanking Senator Coats for protecting foreign aid funding for hungry people.
Wow. Clearly, the simple “please” and “thank you” made a big impact! It’s good to remember that our senators and representatives (and their staffers) are real people for whom, like us, a personal and respectful word goes a long way. And with the many pressures to do this or that, it’s nice to hear “thank you” once in a while, isn't it?
Great work to Mike Hastings and the “Indy Southside” Bread chapter on your Offering of Letters and meeting with your senator’s local office! And great work to “Hoosiers” across the state for your letters, emails, phone calls and meetings throughout the year!
The next time you and your congregation or group write letters, consider scheduling a meeting with your local office to deliver them. Click here for guidance on setting up a meeting.
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