By Louis Tillman
Let me ask you, when was the last time that you fasted for a long amount of time? Here’s a stronger question, when was the last time that you chose not to eat just to show others around the world that you know their pain and suffering on a daily basis? Have you done this recently?
In the summer of 2010, I was a district campaign leader (CDL) for the ONE Campaign of Southeastern Wisconsin. We had a booth at the Juneteenth celebration in Kenosha, WI where we did a world hunger awareness event to raise funds and awareness to end poverty and world hunger. During the event, we participated in fasting. The only thing that we could drink was water, and most of us drank snow cones without the syrup because it was a cool and refreshing treat to keep us well hydrated in that harsh climate. We had an ultimate goal of raising $3,500 to give to the ONE campaign at the end of the event so that we could show the world that Kenosha, WI cares greatly about what is going on in the world and will do anything that they can to help out. I, along with a strong team of 17 members, ended up raising an astonishing $4,700 while fasting for 15 hours that day in 95 degree weather! At the young age of 19, I felt that my team and I had truly accomplished a great amount of work and made a significant difference in the city of Kenosha and the world that day.
In the duration of my internship here with ELCA World Hunger, I have seen the ways in which we do similar things to help in ending world hunger and poverty. One of our most recent fundraising challenges and examples of ending hunger would be our 100 Wells Challenge. This is a challenge that ELCA World Hunger is leading, where they are trying to raise $250,000 to financially help them build 100 water wells in countries all over the world that do not have sustainable drinking water. Another great example of ELCA World Hunger trying to help and fight poverty, is by teaching congregations how to conduct a microenterprise lending program and help prospective entrepreneurs in their areas start or grow their small businesses. A detailed article of this can be read in the Spring 2012 issue of Lifelines. I truly feel that all of these remunerations towards ending hunger all hold a strong and positive weight on our overall goals in ending poverty and world hunger. There are several things that differentiate ELCA World Hunger and ONE.org; but one great thing that they all have in common is the fact that they are doing their best daily to find ways to ultimately stop and permanently prevent poverty and world hunger.
So folks, I leave you with pending questions as you go throughout your days. What will you do to try and prevent poverty and world hunger today? What’s the link between environmental deterioration and poverty? What can you do to ensure that the economies of poor nations be set on a path of sustained economic growth?
Louis Tillman is an intern with ELCA World Hunger.