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By Rick Steves
To add meaning to the holiday season, every Christmas I help raise funds for Bread for the World through my traveling friends and network at Rick Steves' Europe. You've helped out in years past, and I can't thank you enough. That's why this year, I want to renew my offer to send you a special Christmas package as thanks for your next donation of $100 to power Bread's work.
I believe hungry people need a strong and compassionate advocate like Bread for the World — especially when the need in our world is so big. We are in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. In South Sudan and other parts of Africa, children and the elderly are collapsing from starvation. Here in the United States, one in five U.S. children still lives in a family that struggles to get enough to eat.
But we have more reason for hope than ever before. Pope Francis has inspired millions of people of faith to answer God's call to end hunger. And just a few weeks ago at the U.N. General Assembly, the nations of the world committed themselves to ending extreme hunger and poverty in the next 15 years.
The need is so clear, the momentum is so good, and Bread for the World is so effective. That's why I'm inspired to offer you this personal challenge: I'll match all gifts up to $250,000. I'm that excited about this opportunity to give hungry people a voice in our halls of government. Imagine, as an extended family of caring (and traveling) people, together we can empower Bread for the World's work with $500,000.
I see Bread for the World not as a charity, but as a service. If we care about hunger, in my estimate, there is no more effective way to put our dollars to work to fight it. Bread transforms my concern about hunger into effective action by smartly — and doggedly — going into the halls of our government and speaking up (or "lobbying") for hungry people in our country and around the world.
So here's my challenge to you: Help Bread for the World with your gift of $100 or more. As a thank you, I'll match that gift and send you three gifts (worth $50) from my Rick Steves' European Christmas collection:
I'll happily pay for the cost of these three gifts, as well as the shipping, so that Bread for the World can put 100 percent of your donation to work giving a voice to hungry people. Make your gift by Dec. 10 to receive this offer—and you'll get everything (along with our latest travel newsletter) in time for Christmas.
It's my hope that these gifts will add a wonderful new twist to your family celebrations for years to come (as they have for mine), while also enticing you to empower Bread for the World with your donation.
By the way, for every dollar Bread raises, it leverages $100 in terms of assistance and funding that is vital to hungry and poor people in our country and abroad. (That's the great thing about advocacy — our government wants to do the right thing, when properly encouraged.) Assuming that ratio holds, if we hit our $500,000 target, it will mean that, together, we'll generate $50 million of life-giving, hope-instilling funding.
Rick Steves is the host of public television's most-watched, longest-running travel series, "Rick Steves' Europe," and the author of more than 50 travel guidebooks.
I believe hungry people need a strong and compassionate advocate like Bread for the World — especially when the need in our world is so big.
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