I've been part of Bread for the World since the 80's. I like their vision of social justice and the way the group operates. I like their ecumenical, non-partisan focus on making sure the world gets fed.
A side note: it's interesting to ponder that during my lifetime thus far, we could actually feed the world; the problem is food distribution, not food production. And during my lifetime, that could change as climate change wreaks havoc with our planet.
Two weeks ago, I got an e-mail from the southeast coordinator of donor relations for Bread for the World. He was going to be in town and wondered if we could meet.
I thought about my schedule. It was one of the busiest weeks, with lots of faculty observations and faculty files needing to be completed by the end of the week. I just wasn't sure that I could find even the tiniest hole. My schedule before the busy week was so busy that I didn't even respond to his e-mail.
A week ago, I got home to find a phone message from Bread for the World. It was only Monday, and already my week felt overwhelming.
But as I slept, I dreamed about my calendar and phone messages and making some time. I woke up, wondering why my subconscious didn't come up with more inventive dreams, something that involved flying or being able to swim underwater with gills. But I went back to the e-mail and realized that the Bread for the World coordinator would be in town through Friday. I did have a window on Friday morning. My window matched his window.
We met at a Panera. We had coffee and talked about the work the group has done and about the political situation both in South Florida and across the nation. We talked about the group's vision for the future, which still revolves around eliminating hunger across the globe.
I had thought about avoiding a face-to-face meeting because I was afraid I'd be asked for money, and I don't have much extra to give. But the issue of money never came up.
We did talk about time and organizing alongside others. We talked about my writing and how I might help. Yes, these things I can do. I did caution, "I will not be one of those people at a political rally yelling in the back of the room. But I am willing to ask questions at a microphone."
I got back to my office to find an urgent e-mail from the organization asking me to call my representative, which I did. I'm lucky, in that she often votes the way I'd like her to, but it never hurts for our senators and representatives to hear from us.
Our coffee meet-up was only an hour, but it might have been the best hour of my week. It was great to be reminded of what a group of concerned citizens can do. I'm glad I said yes to the invitation.
I need to remember to say yes more often.
Phoebe Cates Friday
5 days ago