From the moment I learned of their existence [formerly World Hunger Year] I knew I had to be a part of this group of dedicated people with a common purpose, the elimination of hunger and poverty and the exponential increase of self-reliance in food and educational outreach.
My Story getting here:
~ As I sat on the floor of my college gym in 1978 and heard Harry Chapin perform his concert, I was awestruck. Between songs, he spoke of the need to "Do Something when ever we can to make the obscenity of hunger vanish in our lifetime!" Through these words and the songs he sang, I was "hooked"!
When I finally arrived at their New York office in 1992 and began our relationship, it became a labor of love and a true shared experience - a mission now 22 years and counting.
From my 1st day stuffing envelopes thru the many benefit concerts and soon, the upcoming annual radio / online fundraiser, Hungerthon 2014, I AM part of a great family. Not just with those I work with on events and programs but, with everyone who makes a difference by participating in WHY Hunger's ethos of commitment to this common goal. Those who give money, time, energy and talent. As well as moral and spiritual support which make our goal that much more attainable.
This is at the core of who this organization is and it started with the two men who inspired me to action - The co-founders, Bill Ayres and Harry Chapin!
Now coming into their 40th year of service, WHY Hunger's tree has many branches. With Grass Roots initiatives such as the recently launched online resource, Building Community Power: A Grassroots Approach to Building Regional Networks for Food Justice to championing the implementation of substantive governmental and global policy change to eliminate hunger to fostering steadfast relationships with socially active / highly visible public personalities through their "Artist Against Hunger and Poverty" and by partnering with Hard Rock Cafe International and Yoko Ono for the annual "Imagine There's No Hunger" campaign - both of which bring the message to the masses thru music that no effort is to small and everyone can make a difference.
I am grateful, committed and truly hopeful that more people will join in these efforts and continue to do what they can - whenever they can!
As someone who has grown up with the organization and served on the Board for over 20 years, it would seem possible that I would no longer find the work so inspiring. On the contrary, WhyHunger continues to evolve and engage in ever expanding ways, while staying true to its core original mission. I am proud to be a regular spokesperson and advocate who has regular opportunities to spread the word about WhyHunger in my public life as a performer and activist. The real strength of WhyHunger is in our partnerships with regular people around the world creating a sustainable and just food system from the grassroots up.
I am so proud to be associated with WhyHunger. It has been part of my life for as long as I can remember and I have seen it grow (but not too fast) and evolve (quite organically) into a dynamic, innovative, collaborative leader in the hunger-fighting/food justice community.
I'm honored to serve as a volunteer for this organization for over 15 years, The organization has changed to stay relevant, but the overall goal remains the same. You could not find a more dedicated staff, which is a major reason why over 90% of their donations go to the need and not administrative costs.
I first got involved with WhyHunger as a member in 1997 after I performed on a few fundraising concerts and was immediately taken with the mission and the people involved. Over these past 17 years I have felt proud on so many occasions when I see the work WhyHunger has done and the partners we have been involved with on so many food and poverty related issues. I cannot not say enough good things about WhyHunger.
I have volunteered with WhyHunger for over 20 years because WhyHunger is one of the most committed, dedicated and positive staff I've ever known. I especially admire WhyHunger's philosophy of re-investing in the people it helps. WhyHunger helps with the immediate needs of the poor and hungry, while working to get people out of the trappings of poverty. WhyHunger supports grassroots organizations, like soup kitchens with work skills programs, that enable people to become self-reliant. The WhyHunger staff are energetic, creative people who are always expanding our reach to innovative solutions to poverty and hunger.
My direct involvement with World Hunger Year began about 16 years ago, when I began volunteering with the annual Hungerthon. I was impressed with the organization's commitment to investing in organizations that addressed the immediate needs of hunger and who also had programs, like work programs, to help people get out of the trappings of poverty....The volunteers and staff of World Hunger Year have an amazingly energetic enthusiasm for their work. I am proud and happy to be a small part of that energy.
I have been involved with WHYHunger for almost thirty years. A magnificent organization with the most dedicated staff.. they are always looking for new ways to support the promotion of self reliance.
Sad that we still have hunger... grateful that WhyHunger is here to address these complex issues.
What I like most about WhyHunger is the dedication i see in every member of their team. I volunteered to raise money for WhyHunger last year by running the marathon and creating a fund-raiser website. As technology advisors, we are impressed at how focused their technology investments are. Everything they do is focused on, how can we reach more people, more grass-roots hunger organizations, more policy people to ensure the effectiveness of their message and their efforts. One of our employees also volunteered for WhyHunger this year, during the Hungerthon. At all of these events, in every email, every meeting, every interaction with WhyHunger, we witness their dedication to the mission first hand. Four of my team members are contributing this year to another fundraising event (a golf outing, and I don't even golf!). I am quite willing look foolish, and much more, to help their mission. You could not choose a better place to donate, volunteer, give meaningfully, than WhyHunger. Count me and my team as lifetime advocates and fans!
WhyHunger asks the important question, why is there hunger and poverty in a wealthy nation? And then they inspire others to ask the same question and step forward with long term, sustainable solutions. Through their vast network and resources, WhyHunger helps small non-profits grow and maintain their community gardens.
I've had the pleasure of working with the team at WhyHunger for the past few years, and have found their compassion for the community and commitment to the cause to be both inspiring and impactful. Bill, Noreen, and the team have a clear vision for the organization and exhibit the on-going dedication needed to pursue and execute that vision. Although my role has been small -- I've held up signs outside of TV studios during Hungerthon, and helped their communications team optimize their online efforts -- it has been truly rewarding. Every small gesture, donation, or effort of support is a treated as a step forward in the war against hunger and poverty in our world. Thank you WhyHunger for providing a platform to serve.