Bread for the World: Speaking Compassion to Power

I find that when you travel, you can look back at your own country from a distance and see its challenges in high contrast. And when I look back at America, I see a land with a troubling gap between rich and poor — a gap that’s only growing wider. While I’m inclined to get mad, I’d rather make a difference. You too? Here’s how: from now through Thursday, for every dollar spent at ricksteves.com/shop, I’ll give a dollar to Bread for the World. (This is not just our profit. I’ll match everything you spend on any guidebooks, DVDs, travel accessories, and travel bags between now and midnight on Thursday, April 20, 2017.)

That’s right: if $50,000 is spent at ricksteves.com/shop (and I hope we hit that mark), I’ll send a check for $50,000 to Bread for the World, an advocacy group that lobbies Congress on behalf of hungry people. This video I made recently in D.C. is a little explanation of their work:

I’ve worked side-by-side with Bread’s staff, and I understand how much they accomplish. That’s why I’m so committed to supporting their work.

And today, Bread for the World’s work is more important than ever. One in six children in the United States is “food insecure,” meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. It’s shocking to me that, at the end of each month, hunger surges in America…and lines at food banks grow. Just before the arrival of their next paycheck, millions of Americans simply don’t have enough money to put food on the table.

Our government’s proposed response: Make drastic cuts in programs that help poor and hungry Americans in order to afford tax cuts for “job creators” and a stronger military.

This would have a tragic impact on our nation’s most vulnerable. The impact of government programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps) and school lunches is massive. Sure, private charities are helpful and important. But government programs provide 20 times as much food to needy people as all the churches and charities in the country combined.

When it comes to fighting hunger, Bread for the World’s advocacy work leverages my charitable giving more than any organization I know. You can imagine it’s all-hands-on-deck now, as Bread works expertly and passionately to encourage legislators in Washington DC to spare programs vital to hungry people — both at home and abroad.

As money has become “free speech” in our society, those without money have become silenced. The impact of the money we’ll raise in the next two days is so exciting. Again, for every dollar spent at ricksteves.com/shop from now through tomorrow, I’ll give a dollar to Bread for the World. Please join me in this initiative to give a voice to the voiceless. Thanks.

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