By Zach Schmidt
We are taught the value of saying “thank you” from a young age – and meaning it. As a father, I am trying to instill in my children a sense of gratitude for the many blessings in their lives, whether large or small, and a readiness to express that gratitude.
And who doesn’t appreciate a “thank you” once in a while? It communicates, “I see what you did. It was important to me.”
Faithful advocates know that working to end hunger is an ongoing effort, and we must always be ready to ask our members of Congress to support legislation that ends hunger. We should also express our gratitude when our elected officials respond favorably to our concerns. Not only is this common courtesy, but it also helps to build a genuine relationship with our members of Congress. It shows them and their staff that they have the support of their constituents on this issue, which is always important to our elected officials and reminds them we want action.
And finally, thanking our members of Congress acknowledges that we played a role in their decision. We asked. They responded. And we thanked them. Advocacy.
Bread for the World members have been asking for months for their members of Congress to cosponsor the Global Food Security Act (H.R. 1567/S. 1252), which will greatly support our work to end hunger by 2030. Since 1990 the world has cut extreme poverty in half, but we can and must do more. The Global Food Security Act helps families and farmers build long-term food security, setting them on a course toward prosperity. When your members of Congress cosponsor this act, they are making a commitment to ending hunger and promising to vote ”yes” when the bill comes up on the floor.
More than 100 already have – something for which we are extremely grateful.
Personally, I am very grateful to my member, U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.-14). After communicating with his office, not only did the congressman cosponsor H.R. 1567, he released a press statement acknowledging his support on World Food Day. We expect the bill to be voted on in the House soon, and Hultgren will be in the ”yes” column of the vote.
My children and I decided one good turn deserved another. We wanted to thank him for his commitment to reducing hunger. Taking a photo and posting it on social media was an easy way to do that. I tagged Hultgren, and not only did he see it, he responded with a comment: “Let’s keep up the fight against global poverty!”
The Edwardsville, Ill., Bread team did the same for Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.-13). They asked, he responded, and they thanked him – publically on social media with a photo.
Check if your representative cosponsored here, or your senator here, and if they have, send a “thank you” photo like the ones in this blog post. If your member hasn’t, now is the time to encourage them to cosponsor. Be sure to let us know when you do this (such as by tagging Bread for the World), so we can help you spread the word!
Anytime our elected officials do something to end hunger – small or large – that is a blessing to celebrate with thanks.
Zach Schmidt is the regional organizer for Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin at Bread for the World.
Photo: Zach Schmidt and his family (above) use social media to thank U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.-14) for cosponsoring the Global Food Security Act. Zachary Schmidt/Bread for the World.
Photo: The Edwardsville, Ill. Bread team (below) thank their congressman, U.S. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.-13) for cosponsoring the Global Food Security Act . (Photo courtesy of Bread for the World member Jane Klopfenstein).