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David Beckmann speaks during Bread for the World's 2011 Gathering. (Photo by Rick Reinhard)
Sara Acosta, an AmeriCorps VISTA in North Carolina, recently wrote on her blog about the lessons she learned at Bread for the World's 2011 Gathering. From discretionary government funding to church/state separation, she covers it all, including a reflection on foreign assistance (the focus of our 2011 Offering of Letters):
A common argument against domestic and foreign social programs (including foreign aid) is that we need to take care of ourselves before we take care of others. Why do we consider ourselves (Americans) a separate tribe from the rest of the world? We could answer that a thousand different ways, but my point is this: when you start thinking of yourself as a global citizen, foreign aid doesn’t seem so foreign because “ourselves” and “others” become the same people.
Helping Zambian potato farmers through federal foreign aid is just as important as supporting the federal and state tax bases that provide for WIC [Women, Infant and Children] and your local school district. You may not know that Zambian farmer or the mother using WIC, but you do know the kids in your local school district. Strangers are just as important as friends regardless of your relationship with them.