Giving as Faithful Advocacy
By Kierra Jackson
Last month, I made an impromptu gift to Bread for the World. During our annual event at New York City’s Union League Club, Bread president David Beckmann called upon the audience to join our great “team” of hunger advocates through financial giving. With great joy I pledged 10 percent of my most recent paycheck to Bread for the World because, frankly, I am ready to see an end to hunger.
Some people might say, "But Kierra, you work at Bread for the World? Why donate?"
Chat with me for a few minutes and you’ll know why I’m an employee at Bread. I have a particular interest in maternal and child nutrition and, in addition to my work at Bread, I’m trained as a doula, also known as a childbirth labor coach. In my work with women and their families, it’s common to hear pregnant mamas lightheartedly say, “You, know I am eating for two these days!” justifying a second breakfast or a third helping of casserole.
In some sense those women are on to something. Research supports the fact that eating enough food—and nutritious food—while pregnant is crucial. And, it’s equally important after the baby is born—particularly during those early years of life.
Recently, I thought about the fact that for every woman who says, “I’m eating for two!” there’s likely another woman who is going hungry for two—struggling to get enough nutritious calories in her daily diet. I am acutely aware that her struggle may continue and only intensify once baby arrives. This thought breaks my heart.
But we all know that having a broken heart has never changed a situation on its own. What it does do, is compel me to be more generous.
I believe that fundraising is not only a form of advocacy but that fundraising is ministry. When we give we are accepting a blessed invitation. We’re taking advantage of an opportunity to be a part of something grand. We are sorting out our priorities—deciding what will receive the fruits of our labor. And as Christians we are beautifully demonstrating the active generosity of Jesus Christ.
The contribution you make to Bread for the World is not merely helpful to us, it is essential. We’re not asking that you keep us afloat on the rocky waters of this economy as we drift along. We’re asking you to help us in navigating the waters boldly, strategically, and swiftly as we head forward in our audacious and important efforts to lobby to protect programs for poor and hungry people in our nation and abroad.
Give one of two ways today: 1) Give a one-time gift to the organization; or 2) Give on a monthly basis through our Baker’s Dozen program.
You can also feel free to write a check and send it to our offices here in Washington, D.C.
Call me old-fashioned but I still like to write checks. This year I started doing something different when filling out my checks. When contributing to Bread for the World or my church I began writing “Hallelujah!” on the memo line. It reminds me that giving is an act of worship and it always makes me remember the words of 2 Corinthians 9:7 when Paul writes:
“I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.”
Thank you for your generosity. You’re changing the course of history. God bless you.
Kierra Jackson is the major gifts coordinator and development officer at Bread for the World.
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