Promises about Poverty: Hold Candidates Accountable

Thanks to you, we’re able to fund a non-partisan campaign to keep hunger and poverty at the forefront of this election, and after.

Last week on Facebook I announced our support for an innovative anti-hunger initiative, and promised we’d send Bread for the World a check for $100,000 as soon as I reached 100,000 “likes” on my Facebook page (which I guessed would take about a week). We hit that goal in just a few hours, so I extended the challenge through October 1st. The friends kept coming, and at midnight we reached 104,222 total “likes.” As promised, this week I’ve happily written a check for $104,222 to Bread for the World.

I’m also thrilled to let you in on this week’s launch of a key piece of this initiative: “The Line,” a new 40-minute video documentary produced by Bread for the World and its partners. You can be among the first to watch this important, eye-opening, VIDEO PREMIERE: The Line.

The Line” tells the stories of a former banker, a single mother, a Louisiana shrimper, and a head busboy as they’ve struggled to move out of poverty. They’ve managed to turn their lives around with God’s help, some assistance from their families and the federal government, and their own hard work. I think this film brilliantly humanizes this issue. It’s so easy to enjoy the blessings of being relatively affluent Americans — and not realize the harsh reality that exists for so many in our country.

Last week we posted three-minute videos from President Obama and Governor Romney, each spelling out in his own words how he intends to deal with the problems of hunger and poverty in America. All during October, Bread for the World will coordinate emailing these video links to 10 million voters in 18 key states, urging them to view the presidential candidates’ videos. Their call to action is for people to remind the candidates that hunger is a non-partisan issue that is vitally important to people of faith across the political spectrum.

At the same time, Bread for the World is sending DVDs of the candidates’ statements to about 2,000 churches throughout the country, to stimulate a discussion addressing hunger from a Christian perspective.

The next component, which starts mid-October to coincide with the presidential debates, is the airing of 900 radio spots on Christian radio stations in Florida and Colorado. The message will remind the listeners to not only view the videos, but to urge the incoming president and Congress to create a “circle of protection” around programs that are vital to hungry and poor people.

After the election, Bread for the World will send 5,000 DVDs of the president-elect’s statement to key faith leaders and churches, along with a study guide aimed at holding the next president accountable for his promise to work to end hunger and poverty during his term in office.

It is only through your support of my travel business — buying guidebooks, travel gear, DVDs, rail passes and tours — that we’ve had the wherewithal to generously fund Bread for the World’s ground-breaking initiative to bring hunger and poverty to the forefront of this presidential campaign in an effective, non-partisan way. These efforts will bring about positive change in our country. Thanks — not just to our Facebook fans — but to all of you who have helped us become a force for thoughtful travel, and social good.