Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Run, Amelia, Run!

AmeliaBy Robin Stephenson

On a foggy, drizzly October day nearly a year ago, I stood on a hillside in Boise, Idaho, and watched my friend and co-worker Amelia Kegan run. She wasn’t fast. She didn't have headphones streaming the latest pop tunes to her ears to motivate her steps. With eyes focused, looking through the haze, she steadily moved forward in the quiet of the morning. I can best describe what I saw as focused purpose and determination and it occurred to me at that moment: she runs like she works to end hunger.

We had been presenting at an anti-hunger summit and I noticed how people really listened when Amelia spoke. I’ve heard it since; in her voice is the conviction that we can end hunger with enough political will. For Amelia, the track is in front of us. As faithful advocates, we must go the distance.

This weekend, Oct. 5 and 6, Amelia is running 100 miles in a Pennsylvania ultramarathon and she is dedicating  her race to Bread for the World. I’m sponsoring her—100 percent of the  proceeds will go to help end hunger—and invite you to join me.

The staff and membership of Bread for the World are full of people like Amelia and working here means being encouraged by each other’s faith. There are moments when the fog seems to block our view and we need to be reminded that advocating to end hunger is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

We are here because somewhere a kid is starting her school day dizzy for lack of food, a mother is staring into an empty refrigerator after working a full day, and drought and hunger are driving a hungry family down a dusty road –  and all of these things are unacceptable. So we keep moving forward with purpose and determination.

Over the years, Bread members have come up with some creative ways to raise money to support our work to end hunger — a child has donated the contents of her piggy bank and a member has biked across the United States to benefit our work. In a recent staff meeting, Amelia explained why she donates monthly to Bread. She said, “my check is my statement that I believe not just in our mission but in the organization, in the people who make it up, in our ability to produce legislative victories and ultimately to help end hunger in our time.”

I agree with her. I won’t run 100 miles, but I will stay in that race and go the distance with my friend Amelia. I will pray, encourage, and sponsor Amelia as she runs 100 miles and you can join me. I have no doubt she can finish and with each footfall on the Oil Creek trail, I’m reminded of our mutual journey to build a better world.

If you are on are Twitter, @bread4theworld will tweet Amelia’s progress this weekend with the hashtag,#runamelia. The Oil Creek ultramathon has a live web feed and Amelia is running under bib 67. I know she’ll be getting a tweet from me and it will read, "Run, Amelia, run!

Robin Stephenson is national social media lead and senior regional organizer, western hub, at Bread for the World.

Photo: Amelia Kegan, after finishing the Chicago Marathon (Courtesy of Amelia Kegan)


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Awesome! Run, Amelia, run!!

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