Making our country the great land it can be

April 27, 2017

By Rick Steves

Over the last few months, millions of Americans, including myself, have been inspired to celebrate and defend what they believe makes our country so...American.

Last Wednesday, I announced that I’d donate a dollar to Bread for the World for every dollar spent at my online shop. An impressive 627 of you responded, spending a total of $17,274 on my Rick Steves guidebooks, DVDs, travel accessories, and travel bags. That’s more than double my normal sales!

As promised, I’m giving an amount to Bread for the World equal to your collective shopping spree. And — further motivated by our government’s threat to drastically cut domestic and foreign aid programs — I’m tripling the amount and upping my gift to $50,000.

Thinking about how this money will help advocate for poor and hungry people in our nation and around the world brings me (and, I hope, all of us) real joy.

Industrialists pay for lobbyists to defend the interests of the extremely wealthy - often at the expense of the poor. But who lobbies for the hungry? With this small fundraiser, collectively we are funding lobbyists to explain to our government what we believe America should be. That’s what advocacy is.

And, while I wish our leaders could simply do what they know in their hearts to be right, the reality is that they tend to do what lobbyists encourage them to do. With this $50,000, we are giving hungry people a chance to have their needs heard in Washington D.C. That’s why, now more than ever, I prefer advocacy to charity.

I’m thankful for your support in this small, but exciting initiative. To me, this is helping to make our country the great land we know it can be. Thanks again and happy travels! 

Rick Steves is host of public television's most-watched, longest-running travel series, "Rick Steves' Europe," and the author of more than 50 travel guidebooks.

With this $50,000, we are giving hungry people a chance to have their needs heard in Washington D.C.

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...


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