Monday was the first time I ever took the time to visit my Senator’s office. A small group of ONE members in Hawai’i felt it was important to personally deliver two dozen hand-written letters to Senator Inouye asking him to do his part in supporting the President’s International Affairs budget. These funds provide life-saving programs with resources they need to help others. We must continue to help those with preventable, treatable, and/or completely curable diseases as part of the overall strategy to eradicate poverty and make a more peaceful world.
I was once part of what we consider working homeless. Employed but not making enough to get a place to live. I know what it’s like to lose my car and then my job because of lack of transportation; and then worry about how I will take care of my wife and 3 kids. Yet my personal stories pale in comparison to what people living on less than $1.25 a day are going through. Young children caring for their families rather than going to school. Millions of parents needlessly suffering and dying from AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis rather than caring for their children. Today, I am only alive because of where I was born. Eventually I was able to get a job on the island of Oahu that helped secure my financial situation, and it is because of the caring hand of others and support from my elected officials during my lowest times. Because I am so blessed, I feel it is time I pay it forward. I believe the giving hand of our nation should go beyond just our borders, something Americans have always believed as a blessed nation.
That’s why I a member of ONE. That’s why I wrote a letter to Senator Inouye. That is why I took the time to hand-deliver my letter and 23 others from ONE who care deeply to see the end of needless poverty. I will continue to write letters, make phone calls, blog, tweet, and educate my community. Because as hard as it was for me in America, it is devastating for those living in extreme poverty. I want to do the right thing. I believe in my heart Senator Inouye does too, and I will continue to use my voice with ONE to inform others and reach out to my representatives to make sure they keep their promises to the world’s poorest people. This letter delivery was a small continuation of what ONE members have been doing for years. I am honored to do my part and serve with them all.
-Eric Butler, Honolulu ONE Member