I attended a local Bread for the World event in Naperville, Illinois last week. It was a gathering of an interesting group of three generations of dedicated Bread volunteers. There were people involved with Bread for more than 30 years and others whose first event was that night. Folks had traveled for more than an hour in the winter storm to get to St. Raphael Catholic Church in Naperville for the opportunity to hear from Bread for the World President David Beckmann.
David spoke about the power of advocacy, and he shared some amazing stories about the effectiveness of domestic and international programs related to food security and agriculture. He said that advocacy for the world’s poor makes real difference to real people, before sharing the story of his adopted son, and how he recently found that as an infant, his own son had benefited from the very programs Bread for the World has been fighting for. David also spoke about the budget negotiations in Congress and how important it is that we continue to fight for the less-than-1-percent of the budget, what he called the equivalent of a rounding error, dedicated to helping the poorest people around the world.
The event ended with a call to action — an offering of letters. Everyone was asked to write a letter to their member of Congress asking them to support effective food programs that benefit those most in need. The outpouring of people willing to take action was incredible to see. I had to wait for my turn to use a table and pen to write my letter.
I got a chance to speak with David Beckmann and we talked about the alignment between ONE’s advocacy efforts and what Bread is fighting for. He was happy to see me representing ONE and shared his experience in helping launch ONE in 2004. I also connected with one of Bread’s regional organizers and I look forward to increased collaboration between our two groups in the state of Illinois.
-Tzviatko Chiderov, ONE regional field director