Thanks a Lot. You Gave Me My Christmas Present…and It Cost Me $100,000!

bftw-check-2013Hooray! Together we met our goal of raising $200,000 for Bread for the World. While the news these days is filled with sadness (natural disasters, as in the Philippines) and frustration (our dysfunctional Congress), together this holiday season we have made a difference.

As you know, I’m a fan of “advocacy” to complement charity. Advocacy is speaking up for the voiceless in the halls of power. Big shots (whether oligarchs in Moscow or industrialists in Washington DC) routinely shape the priorities of governments around the world. And, in a world with so much wealth yet so challenged by issues of distribution, poor people both at home and abroad struggle to be heard.

I guess I know my traveling Facebook fans pretty well. My hunch and hope was that we could talk a thousand of you into joining me to raise money to help Bread for the World speak up for these voiceless in Washington DC. So far we’ve done even a bit better, as 1,004 of you have donated.

That means collectively, you’ve raised just over $100,000 — exceeding my $100,000 match. I promised I’d double the power of the first 1,000 who responded, and today I’ll fill out a personal check to Bread for the World for $100,000.

There’s still time (until December 13) to join us and get your thank you gifts (our European Christmas DVD, CD, and book) before Christmas.

Again, together we’ve raised over $200,000 to empower Bread’s work. I’m all for necessary budget discipline — but I don’t want it at the expense of our nation’s poorest people. Our initiative will help Bread for the World continue to maintain a “circle of protection” that shelters the neediest Americans from necessary cuts as we get our national budget in order.

By the way, my friends at Bread are thrilled with this, send their thanks, and share their determination to honor your gifts by working hard and smart to transform this contribution into effective action. To learn more about Bread’s impressive work, visit That’s the spirit of this season in action.

Thanks so much for making this a very expensive Christmas for me. Giving like this in partnership with caring travelers like you makes my work even more gratifying than it already is. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to all.