Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sen. Udall to host Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday

Here is an invitation from Sen. Tom Udall to a town hall meeting on Tuesday, June 30.

Have any questions about what Congress is doing for you? Need help with any federal agency or program? Want to let the Senate know how you feel.

I want to hear from you. I want to extend a personal invitation to a Town Hall meeting I am hosting in Albuquerque. At this meeting, I'll tell you what I'm fighting for and give you an update on what Congress has done this year.

In less than six months, we have secured health insurance for 11 million American children, helped ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work and passed legislation to protect American families from predatory credit card companies. We have also passed an economic recovery package that will create 22,000 jobs in New Mexico and invest more than $600 million in New Mexico schools so that our children have the skills to succeed in the future. I want to talk to you about these achievements and the many other challenges that Congress is working to address.
More importantly, I want your feedback and input about the issues that are important to you, your family and the community. Your thoughts and ideas are critically important to me as I represent New Mexico in Washington.

Members of my staff will also be on hand to help anyone who needs assistance with a federal agency. We will also have copies of a New G.I. Bill Benefits Resource Guide, complete with application forms, that I created to help veterans apply for the new education benefits that will start being distributed on Aug. 1. The New G.I. Bill, which I helped pass last year, boosts benefits for post-9/11 veterans. Come see if you qualify.
WHAT: Town Hall Discussion with Senator Tom Udall
WHEN: Tuesday, June 30 at 12:00 PM
WHERE: VFW Post 401 at 2011 Girard Boulevard SE

Clothe the Kids

For the past 10 years, Cintas Corp. and Matthew 25 Ministries have partnered in a clothing drive, appropriately called Clothe the Kids. Dedicated to helping others, Matthew 25: Ministries is an international humanitarian and disaster relief organization helping the poorest of the poor. The organization has an extensive network of volunteers who sort, process, package, deliver and distribute donated items

Through this effort they collect gently used or new clothes, shoes, socks and undergarments for children and youths (ages new-born to 15
) to countries like Nicaragua, Jamaica, Haiti, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

Rene Ronquillo, who works for Cintas, is leading this effort in New Mexico.
"With offices and facilities throughout the U.S. and thousands of partners like myself, this year we are trying to collect 105,000 articles of clothes for this year's "Clothe The Kids" clothing drive. I am leading this effort here in New Mexico for Cintas by reaching out to friends, family and co-workers to join the effort in reaching our goal for this year's clothing drive," says Rene.
Here is how you can help:
What - Gently used or new clothes, shoes, socks and undergarments for ages new-born to 15
When - thru July 1
Where - deliver to Mike Shawver during business hours at the Immaculate Conception Church office or call Rene Ronquillo @ (504)338-5280 for a pick up

Friday, June 19, 2009


Remember when that popular hamburger operation used to measure its success by the number of hamburgers sold? They numbered in the millions

Now we have a different kind of statistic.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization this week released the sad news that the number of hungry people in the world has reached the 1-billion mark. Here is an excerpt.
One in six people in the world — or more than 1 billion — is now hungry, a historic high due largely to the global economic crisis and stubbornly high food prices, a U.N. agency said Friday.

Compared with last year, there are 100 million more people who are hungry, meaning they receive fewer than 1,800 calories a day, the Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report.

Almost all the world's undernourished live in developing countries, where food prices have fallen more slowly than in the richer nations, the report said. Poor countries need more aid and agricultural investment to cope, it said.

Read the entire article from the Associated Press

A normal response is to get mad and sad about it. It's very easy to shrug it off and go on with our comfortable lives. Another response is to give more money to our charity or relief organization. But we can also start to change the system that provides assistance, especially agriculture development. That check to Catholic Relief Services and Lutheran World Relief is going to provide that needed band-aid. But in the long run, efforts like reforming foreign aid offer an enduring solution.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Praying in Economic Hard Times

The gospel of Christ knows of no religion but social; no holiness but social holiness.

- John Wesley,

from the preface to Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739)

Some of us are lucky to have jobs in these economic hard times.

Many more are not so lucky.

Others are underemployed and not making nearly enough money to support themselves and their families.

We can all pray together, and Immaculate Conception Church (our friendly Jesuit parish downtown) is giving us that opportunity on Sunday, June 28, 4:00-4:45 p.m. And everyone is invited to stay for the 5:00 p.m. Catholic Liturgy (Mass)

The church is located on the corner of 6th St. and Copper, across from the main public library.

Everyone is welcome.

Sponsored by Immaculate Conception Social Justice Ministry
For more information contact Mike Shawver at 247-4271 or

Peacecraft Invites You to Celebrate its 20th Birthday!


Because of your support, Peacecraft will commemorate 20 years of reducing poverty all over the globe.

Please join us in a full day of celebrations on Saturday, June 13, at our store, located at 3215 Central NE. We are planning to auction bicycles, art, and even a home. Plus we will have a full day of entertainment donated by community members who support our mission. See details below.

For two decades, your patronage, volunteerism and dedication to social justice has made a difference in the lives of children in India, mothers in Ghana, families in Guatemala, and communities worldwide. Your choice to shop with a conscience at Peacecraft has reduced poverty and created peace!

We hope to see you there!
Dawni Bennett
Store Operations and Inventory Manager

Schedule of Events
Bike Auction 11am-4pm
Bid on donated bikes, components, kid's bikes, jogging stollers and more!

Entertainment 12 pm-5pm
12:00: Welcome and Announcements
12:15: Maple Street Dance Space African Dance and Drumming
1:00: Rogue Bindis Tribal Belly Dance
2:00: Fast Heart Mart Folk & Americana Music
3:00: Saving Damsels Native American Rock
4:00: Burning Moonlight Rhythm & Blues Variety

A special thanks to Whole Foods for donating wonderful snacks for our celebration!

Fair Trade Featured in Artwork by Local Artist Becky Gunn!

A series of three paintings will be auctioned to benefit Peacecraft during our party. Each painting represents a certain geographical area and showcases the abundance of Fair Trade in that area.

Bid on this House!

And yes, there are still raffle tickets available for the raffle of this beautiful, 95 year old North Valley adobe home! Hundreds of tickets have been sold, so come on in and get yours for just $100! This benefit raffle will enable Peacecraft to invest in our cooperatives from Ghana to Viet Nam to Chile

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's Unanimous: U.S. Senate likes Bread for the World

On May 21 of this year, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced a resolution in the Senate (S. Res. 157) recognizing Bread for the World, on the 35th anniversary of its founding, for its faithful advocacy on behalf of poor and hungry people in our country and around the world.

Eleven senators co-sponsored S. Res. 157 before it reached the floor on June 2.

Result: Resolution agreed to in Senate without amendment and with a preamble by Unanimous Consent.

It's unanimous: The Senate likes us!

Speaking of Bread for the World's birthday, I'm really looking forward to the 35th anniversary dinner on Monday, June 15. The keynote speaker is Maria Otero, president of Accion International.

Maria was chair of Bread for the World's board of directors during most of the years when I was a member of that deliberative body.

Somos Pan para el Mundo

This is the Spanish-language version of "We are Bread for the World"

Ofrenda de Cartas 2009

Bread for the World created a Spanish-language version of this year's Offering of Letters DVD