By Rev. David Beckmann
Once again, I am humbled by your generosity. Before the year ended, more than 2,450 people responded to Rick Steves’ challenge to raise $250,000 for Bread for the World. With Rick’s match, together you raised more than $574,000 in support of Bread’s work to end hunger in the United States and around the world.
I want to extend a very special thank you to my dear friend Rick Steves. Rick has been a generous Bread member for over 30 years, and this was the tenth year that he has hosted a Christmas fundraiser for Bread for the World. Rick’s support and promotion of Bread’s work has raised over $2.5 million cumulatively. His continued support is an integral part of raising the necessary funds needed to sustain Bread’s work and protect critical anti-hunger programs.
But Rick’s efforts would not be worthwhile if not for you – his generous supporters, along with the Bread members who donated in response to his challenge. I want you to know your generosity matters to those struggling with hunger and poverty.
2017 was a challenging year for those who suffer from hunger, and threats to programs that protect people who are hungry show no sign of abating in 2018.
Hunger is on the rise globally for the first time in almost a decade. Right now, 20 million people are threatened by near-famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen. At a moment when our nation’s leadership is needed most, President Donald J. Trump and some in Congress are proposing drastic cuts to programs that help hunger and poor people.
Your generous support will help us push back against threats to lifesaving assistance programs.
We are prepared to be diligent, and your Christmas gifts have given us the tools needed to start the year off strong.
I hope you will continue to stay involved in Bread’s work in the new year. More than ever, we need your help. I invite you to talk with your member of Congress and voice your support of programs that provide a lifeline to those facing hunger at home, and around the world.
We need advocates like YOU to help us end hunger once and for all.
Rev. David Beckmann is president of Bread for the World.