Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 31- $1 a day

I've started thinking about how I can pursue justice and relief for the poor after my experiment is finished. For these 40 days I've known that my contribution to alleviating some hunger is to write a check for $375 to the San Francisco Food Bank-- money I would have spent on groceries, eating out, and entertainment. But one week into my experiment I knew that I am up for something bigger than a one-time donation.

Seems there are as many poverty and hunger campaigns in the world as there are Big Mac's served at McDonald's. They seem to come out with a bang, gain some steam, then fizzle out until some other campaign comes out with a bang, gains some steam, then fizzles out-- backed by the the celebrity with the most current clout, of course.

From 2005-2007 Make Poverty History was big. Bono has a cool explanation about it here.

Then Bono co-founded ONE, an organization dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and diseases particularly in Africa. Bono has kicked butt with that campaign.

I like End Poverty by 2015, which originated from a United Nations Summit in 2000, in which 189 world leaders pledged to follow a "roadmap" of goals that would improve the lives of the world's poorest people. That campaign has some star power behind it with Shakira, Allysa Millano, and some of my favorite hunks Jesse Martin, Richard Gere, and Lenny Kravitz.

But the one I'm leaning towards at this point is Mobilization to End Poverty, which is sponsored by Sojourners and World Vision. They are tackling domestic (American) poverty as well as global poverty by taking the approach of supporting the goals the U.N. established in 2000, but recognizing that world leaders need a consistent kick in the pants if they are going to stay motivated all the way through the year 2015. As a person of faith I like Sojourners because their mission is to "articulate the biblical call to social justice" and they emphasize that God cares about the poor and that those of us who profess to follow that God are called to share His concerns.

I'm beginning to catch a clue that something is going on in my heart in regards to hungry and impoverished people. One of my goals of the experiment was to feel "solidarity with the poor" and I want to be ready to make a next step that takes me from solidarity to advocacy.

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