Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

40 posts categorized "Fundraising"

2013: Year in Review and a Look Ahead


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Farm work in rural Guatemala (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World).

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (2 Corinthians 9: 11-12 NIV)


In 2013, the generosity of Bread for the World members in time, talent, and treasure has borne fruit in the mission to end hunger. You helped us reach our year-end fundraising goals and helped set the foundation of support for our work in 2014. The year will start with a packed agenda as we ask Congress to extend emergency unemployment insurance, pass a farm bill that protects SNAP (formerly food stamps) and strengthens U.S. food aid, and urge passage of an immigration reform bill that helps end hunger both here and abroad. January’s packed agenda will also include ensuring programs such as WIC and Head Start as well as poverty-focused development assistance get sufficient funding for the remainder of the fiscal year though the appropriations process. Our 2014 Offering of Letters, launching later this month, will urge Congress to update and reform U.S. food aid, which could benefit 17 million more people each year.

As we look back on 2013 one thing is clear: your willingness to reach out to your members of Congress and tell them to make hunger and poverty a priority made the difference. In a hostile budget climate and with continued threats of deep cuts to anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs, our 2013 Offering of Letters targeted both Congress and the White House for the first time.

Through the Offering of Letters, you urged Congress to protect critical programs and petitioned the president to set a goal to end hunger. As a result of our work in 2012, the president’s 2013 State of the Union address called for an end to extreme poverty in the United States and around the world. We continued to message the president and received more than 40,000 signatures on our petition to President Obama, which we hand-delivered to the White House in August.

Bread for the World prevented harmful cuts to SNAP, successfully blocking $135 billion in SNAP cuts in the federal budget, and a House of Representatives proposal to cut the program by $40 billion.

During October’s government shutdown and near default on the debt ceiling, we worked with our faith partners to re-open the government and prevent service disruptions that would have disproportionately affected struggling families.

And although the latest budget deal was far from perfect, final legislation replaced part of the 2014 and 2015 sequester with a balance of spending cuts and revenues – an ask our members took with them to their members of Congress during the 2013 Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. The hard work of Bread members helped ensure that those cuts also stayed balanced between defense and non-defense programs.

Finally, thanks to the efforts of Bread for the World and our partners over the last few years, some of our work came to fruition in 2013. The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, which calls for increased and improved monitoring of U.S. foreign assistance and its impact. We are optimistic that the full Senate will take up this bill and pass it in 2014.

As we look ahead to 2014, we are assured that through faith and action we can do great things together.

Double Your Year-End Impact

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Rosa tends to the family live stock, a usual task for many children in rural Guatemala where child malnutrition rates are also among the highest in the world. (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World)

By David Beckmann

I just received some exciting news! A few Bread members have offered to match online gifts made during these last two days of the year, up to $47,000! Can you make a gift now to help hungry people?

There are so many things we can do to help fill the hungry with good things in the coming year. While there is much work to be done in 2014, your support will help us face the challenges ahead:

  • Reforming international food aid: We can help 2 to 4 million more hungry people each year through simple reforms that will make assistance more timely and responsive to need.

  • Passing comprehensive immigration reform: We must improve economic security and job access for undocumented immigrants in this country through comprehensive immigration reform.

  • Defending the social safety net from attacks: We will continue to push back against efforts to cut and dismantle SNAP (food stamps), refundable tax credits for low-income working families, and poverty-focused development assistance.

Your donation today can mean food on more tables in 2014.

Please don't wait to make your gift — this amazing matching offer only lasts until midnight tomorrow. I know you care deeply about helping hungry people. Can I count on your support during this crucial time, when your gift will have double the impact?

Don't miss this opportunity to have your gift doubled and help millions of hungry people around the world.

David Beckmann is president of Bread for the World.

 

 

Poor Was Our Normal

USAID Tacloban

Emergency relief supplies flown into Tacloban City in the Philippines are trucked to a warehouse for distribution. (Carol Han, OFDA)

By Chang K. Park

As the founder of Universal Remote Control, my life is so different today than it was during my childhood in South Korea in the 1960s. My family was quite poor, but everyone around us was poor, too, so I thought it was normal.

When I was in elementary school, the teachers would often ask us to bring in a bag from home. I didn't have a bag, so I would fold a newspaper and glue the edges. The next day, they would have us line up outside the storage room, where there was a huge paper drum of powdered milk, bearing the USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) logo. They would shovel powdered milk into our bags, and ask us to take it home, boil it, and drink it. That was our source of nutrition.

As a child growing up in South Korea, my life was deeply influenced by the generosity of this country. That's why I am a member of Bread for the World. Bread helps ensure that our nation is working to alleviate hunger, both at home and abroad.

During these final days of 2013, I hope that Bread can count on your support so the organization can continue its work in the coming year. Bread works hard to defend food aid, foreign assistance, and vital federal nutrition programs that change the lives of so many people — just as they did for me.

When you make a gift to Bread, you are helping people who suffer from hunger. The U.S. humanitarian response to the devastation in the Philippines this year is just one example of how vital foreign assistance can be when disaster strikes. We must ensure that our government protects such programs, which offer a lifeline to people in desperate need.

The hardships I experienced in South Korea may be over, but there are still so many people in so many countries experiencing hunger now. We must work to alleviate such suffering. That is why Bread for the World is so important.

I hope you will choose to help fill the hungry with good things by making a special gift to Bread. Hunger is a part of too many people's lives. Please do what you can to help.

Chang K. Park is a Bread for the World Board Member and President and CEO of Universal Remote Control.

Quote of the Day: Rick Steves

Holy City

Night sets over Antigua, Guatemala, at the Cerro de la Cruz (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World).

While the charitable work we do as caring people is important, we must remember that all the food provided by all the charities in our country amounts to only 4 percent of the food assistance available for poor and hungry people. Our government provides the rest. That means Bread's advocacy work has a huge impact on caring for the most vulnerable people among us. I'm convinced that supporting Bread is the very best way to leverage my charitable giving. That's why I've been a Bread member for 30 years.

-- Rick Steves is the host of public television's most-watched, longest-running travel series, "Rick Steves' Europe," and the author of more than 50 travel guidebooks.

Help fill the hungry with good things this holiday season. Your year-end gift supports Bread for the World’s efforts to change the policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist. Every dollar you give helps Bread win more than $100 in assistance for hungry and poor people. Will you help with a special gift?

One More Present

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Two neighborhood boys play in puddles after a downpour in Guatemala. (Joe Molieri/Bread for the World)

By David Beckmann

Christmas is upon us — the wonderful and holy time that commemorates Christ's birth in the world. As you gather with your loved ones, I pray you will see how you have been blessed, and will open your hearts to do what you can for those less fortunate.

This Christmas, I hope you will make a generous donation to support the work of Bread for the World.

Last week, you heard from Sharon Thornberry, who dealt with hunger as she was raising her two young children. She received help from nutrition programs, such as SNAP (food stamps), and was able to overcome hunger.

That's why your gift today matters. When you support Bread, you are strengthening our efforts to protect programs that lift people like Sharon, and her family, out of poverty.

Thank you for your kindness and compassion for hungry people. I'm so thankful you've chosen to be a part of Bread for the World. Because of you, we've achieved great things through our advocacy work this year.

  • As a result of our conversations with the administration, President Obama's State of the Union address called for an end to extreme poverty in our own country and around the world.
  • Bread's petition to the president, which asks President Obama to set a goal and work with Congress on a plan to end hunger, has been signed by nearly 40,000 people.
  • A vote in the House of Representatives to drastically cut food stamps was much closer than anyone expected. Thousands of letters and phone calls from you and other Bread members made the difference. A number of key representatives changed their votes because they heard from Bread members.

Please take a moment now to give just one more gift — a donation to Bread — so we can help fill the hungry with good things this Christmas season.

May your soul magnify the Lord, and your spirit rejoice in God our savior.

David Beckmann is president of Bread for the World.

Hungry in a Grocery Store

Distribution_picBy Sharon Thornberry

When my children were just 3 and 5 years old, we experienced real hunger for the first time. I was working at a grocery store, but often couldn’t afford to buy the food that was all around me. Food stamps (now called SNAP) changed that. They allowed me and my children to have nutritious meals while we were trying to transition back to normalcy.

Unfortunately, when my boss at the grocery store learned that I was using food stamps to make purchases there, I was told that I'd be fired if I did it again. The stigma attached to using food stamps sometimes prevents people from seeing the good SNAP does, and how well the program supports families during rough times.

I became a member of Bread for the World so that I could help hungry people. I know what it is like to struggle to put food on the table, and I want to help others understand that experience — and motivate them to act.

This Christmas season, I hope you will join us in fighting hunger and poverty, and support Bread with a special gift.

I believe that the quality of our lives is dependent on the quality of the lives of our neighbors — whether they are next door, or on the next continent. We are all God's children, and we must take care of one another. This is what Bread for the World's advocacy work is all about.

As you know, Bread is working to stop Congress from making further cuts to the SNAP program, while also educating people about the importance of tackling the root causes of hunger. Bread is a leader in advocacy for hungry people, and is able to do incredible work because of support from people like you.

I'm not wealthy, but I choose to make a monthly gift to Bread. I give what I can. If you are able to make a special gift this Christmas, please donate now, and support Bread's critical work.

I hope you'll also join us in our prayer that God empowers us and inspires our leaders to fill the hungry with good things.

Sharon Thornberry is a Bread for the World board member and community food systems manager at Oregon Food Bank.

Author Shares Book Proceeds with Bread

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Jason Dykstra is a diagnostic radiologist and youth mentor based in Holland, Mich. He is also a Bread for the World member.  He recently published a book entitled Healing Hereafter—and advised Bread for the World that part of the book’s proceeds will directly benefit our work to end hunger in God’s world. Recently, we spoke with Jason about the project.

Can you tell us about the book?

Sure. Healing Hereafter is an exploration of God’s biblical plan. In an atmosphere of positivity and gratitude, it combines answering some of the complex questions about the Christian faith with encouraging positive action. My hope is that the book stimulates considerations and ways to improve the world.

 How did you decide the book profits would go to four nonprofit organizations?

One of the major goals of the book is to raise awareness and donations for organizations approaching world problems in strategic and cost-effective ways. Bread for the World was one of four I thought were ideal. Already, people are responding positively to the book’s charitable aspect. Knowing they are contributing makes them feel good!  

Why do you support Bread for the World?

About three years ago, my wife and I decided to look at issues the Bible calls us to care about. Hunger was a big one. Then we looked to see what was being done about those issues. It was easy to find groups providing direct aid. But Bread for the World had a model we found unique and easy to get behind. Bread for the World embraces comprehensive, long-term relief. We are proud to be monthly donors. 

To read Jason’s blog, or purchase Healing Hereafter, visit jasondykstrawrites.com. The book is also available on Amazon.com.

 

‘Tis Better to Give: Celebrate Giving Tuesday

Givingtuesday

By Jim Lund

Retailers have made the week after Thanksgiving a time for big shopping days to start out the holiday shopping season. Why not have a day for giving back?

Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when charities, businesses, families, and individuals come together to give back. Want to join them? It’s simple–just find a way to give back.

Giving Tuesday provides a way for Americans to do more with their wallets than just shop.  It offers a break from the holiday shopping season and directs our attention back to the things that matters most: spreading love and joy through simple acts of kindness and goodwill.

Bread for the World Institute is proud to be a partner in Giving Tuesday. The Institute works year-round to find solutions that help people suffering from hunger and poverty both across the street and across the ocean. Our just-released 2014 Hunger Report focuses on ending hunger in the United States. The report offers a clear, achievable four-step plan to make hunger a rare and temporary phenomenon, rather than the widely shared national experience it is today. Your gifts help make this work possible.

Please consider a gift today to help provide Bread for the World Institute with the resources we need to continue to educate our opinion leaders, policy makers, and the public about hunger.

I hope that you will join us for Giving Tuesday. Underneath the superficiality of the shopping season lies the Christmas season, during which we celebrate God’s greatest gift to us. 

Jim Lund is vice-president for development and membership at Bread for the World.

Help Bread this Christmas and Receive a Special Gift

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Travel show host Rick Steves in Ireland (photo courtesy of Rick Steves).

By Rick Steves

If these times seem tough for our friends and family, imagine how tough they are for hungry and poor people. To add meaning to the holiday season, every Christmas I raise funds for Bread for the World through my traveling friends and network at Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door. This year the needs are particularly great. But that means the rewards are too! I'd love to send you a special Christmas package as thanks for a $100 gift to empower Bread's work. This gift package was so popular last year that I want to offer it again so you too can get on board—and even share this challenge with your loved ones.

I believe hungry people need a strong and compassionate advocate like Bread for the World—especially when there are so many interests competing for attention on Capitol Hill.

While the charitable work we do as caring people is important, we must remember that all the food provided by all the charities in our country amounts to only 4 percent of the food assistance available for poor and hungry people. Our government provides the rest. That means Bread's advocacy work has a huge impact on caring for the most vulnerable people among us. I'm convinced that supporting Bread is the very best way to leverage my charitable giving. That's why I've been a Bread member for 30 years.

I'd like to offer you this personal challenge: I'll match all gifts up to $100,000. I'm that excited about this opportunity to give hungry people a voice in our halls of government. Imagine, as an extended family of caring (and traveling) citizens, together we can empower Bread for the World’s work with $200,000.

David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, recently told me how Bread's work is particularly needed now and how our financial support can translate into real help so desperately needed:

"We are at a point at which ideologues in Congress are threatening deep cuts in programs that provide help and opportunity to poor people in our country and abroad—programs such as SNAP [formerly food stamps] and international food-aid," he said. "Of course, all Americans can be enthusiastic about our government running a tight fiscal ship. But if the budget is to be balanced on the backs of poor people, innocent children will suffer, and the civility woven into the fabric of our society will be threatened."

I see Bread for the World not as a charity, but as a service. Bread is transforming my concern about hunger into effective action by smartly—and doggedly–working to protect struggling people in our country and around the world.

So here's my challenge to you this Christmas: Help Bread for the World with your gift of $100 or more. As a thank you, I'll match that gift and send you three gifts (worth $50) from my Rick Steves' European Christmas collection:

  • "Rick Steves' European Christmas" DVD (our PBS-TV special celebrating a traditional, non-commercial, and sacred Christmas in seven different countries)
  • "Rick Steves' European Christmas" coffee-table book (the fun insights and best photos I gathered while producing the special)
  • "Rick Steves' European Christmas" music CD (produced while filming, featuring our 20 favorite European carols—this is my personal favorite for fresh new Christmas-time music)

I'll happily pay for the cost of these three gifts, as well as the shipping, so that Bread for the World can put 100 percent of your donation to work giving a voice to hungry people. Make your gift by Dec. 10 to receive this offer—and you'll get everything (along with our latest travel newsletter) in time for Christmas.

It's my hope that these gifts will add a wonderful new twist to your family celebrations for years to come (as they have for mine), while also enticing you to empower Bread for the World with your donation.

By the way, for every dollar Bread raises, it leverages $100 in terms of assistance and funding that is vital to hungry and poor people in our country and abroad. Assuming that ratio holds, if we hit our $200,000 target, that will mean that, together, we’ll generate $20 million of life-giving, hope-instilling funding for this cause.

Rick Steves is the host of public television's most-watched, longest-running travel series, "Rick Steves' Europe," and the author of more than 50 travel guidebooks.

Supporters Buy Bread for the World’s Shepherd Boy Christmas Card

By Vince Mezzera

Christmas

The image of the shepherd and lamb that graces Bread for the World’s 2013 Christmas cards resonated with Barbara Rockow, a Phoenix, Ariz., resident who has served on Bread’s board. Instead of sending a card bearing a family picture this year, she decided to send Bread’s card to her extensive list of family and friends. "I hope that the recipients will understand that my husband and I are sending a message of good news, which will bring joy," Rockow says. "And I want folks to know that I am still a strong supporter of Bread."

New supporters are finding Bread for the World through the Christmas cards, too. "I decided this year to send Christmas cards that supported a cause," says Julie Forzano of Birmingham, Mich. "I really just wanted the money I spend on Christmas cards to make a contribution to a worthy cause, and I felt that Bread for the World was such an organization." While she isn’t trying to send a message to the friends and family on her Christmas card list, Forzano adds, "if they receive one that would be an added blessing."

Regional church offices, denominational bodies, and other religious organizations choose to order and send Bread for the World cards in large quantities. Last year, Kirby Hughes Gould, vice president of the Christian Church Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., found Bread’s cards to be a cost-effective and convenient option for thanking donors and church investors. She opted to order from Bread again this year.

While the image of the young shepherd has captivated the hearts of a diverse group, Bread for the World’s past Christmas card designs still remain favorites, too. To view all five designs available, visit www.bread.org/cards.

Vince Mezzera is Bread for the World’s manager of member resources.

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