Saturday, January 08, 2011

Here's More Evidence.... that Grassroots Efforts Make a Huge Difference!

By Larry Lindley and David Miner
Bread activists Indiana

Indiana Bread activists with Sen. Richard Lugar
Sometimes we wonder and worry about the size of our Bread chapter or the OL at our church. Are they too small to make a difference?  We got remarkable confirmation late this year that our approach really is working!!

On October 28, 2010, a group of Indianapolis area Bread for the World members and faith leaders from the Interfaith Hunger Initiative visited with Rep. Andre Carson, the congressman from Indiana’s 7th district. The meeting was held at Rep Carson’s request.

Before we began discussing hunger issues in Indianapolis and actions in Congress, Justin Ohlemiller, the District Director for the Congressman, said that "Bread’s local campaign on EITC was the most striking he saw on any issue over the last year."

We were wowed to know that is possible for our Bread network to make this big of a splash. I double checked with him later to be sure we had heard him correctly!

This impact in Rep Carson’s office was a combined effect of twenty area congregations conducting an Offering of Letters and six area Bread chapters who wrote letters about EITC on at least a couple occasions.  

Justin went on to say that he was impressed that the letters were all individually written and not just a signed form-letter or postcard. He said that personal, handwritten letters are the most impactful type of communications and noted that some are passed on to the Congressman himself. He encouraged us to keep up the good work.

Personal letters to members of Congress do get read, and organizing in churches and in Bread chapters can make a huge difference!!

(Zach Schmidt, regional field organizer from Bread's office in Chicago, contributed to this piece).

1 comment:

Elaine VanCleave said...

Good job Indiana!
Elaine VanCleave