The Power of Our Collective Voice
Last month, students from sixth through twelfth grade from the Joint Youth Ministries in Wilton, CT, arrived at Bread for the World eager to learn how to end hunger. The group, consisting of students from three neighboring congregations -- Zion’s Hill United Methodist, Wilton Presbyterian and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church -- make annual trips to Washington, DC, to do service work in the area. They tirelessly serve their neighbors for a week and confront the various issues that cause hunger in our nation. They visited Bread for the World to learn how advocacy impacts the lives of those they have served. At the end of their time in the office, the group wrote letters to Congress, drawing inspiration and stories from their week serving hungry and poor people.
Across the United States, activists write letters as part of Bread for the World’s mission to urge our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. The students are a good reminder that everyone has a voice, regardless of age. Bread for the World describes this as a collective Christian voice. All voices have a say in issues of hunger and poverty.
Did you know that each letter written to Congress is logged by a staffer? The number of letters on a particular issue indicates how serious it is to his or her constituents. These letters influence how a member of Congress should or should not represent those they serve.
Through people like the youth groups of these three Connecticut congregations, we build our political will to influence decision makers on behalf of hungry and poor people. When we work together our voices have a greater capacity to be heard. Consider partnering with other congregations or organizations in your community when planning your 2012 Offering of Letters.
Kelsey Lalman is organizing intern at Bread for the World.
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