Sunday April 15th – Thursday April 19th I co-led the Heart of the Hill Trip. Marv and I traveled with two volunteers from O’Fallon Missouri – Christine Bimslager and Maureen Avenenevoli. They are apart of a growing project that has an urban church in O’Fallon and a rural church and farmer in Bucyrus Kansas.
It was fun getting to know each of them better and I think they feel they learned a lot and had a good time. This trip was a little different than most as we were invited to participate in the 2012 ONE Summit. ONE is “a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease.” (www.one.org). For their Summit they invited about 150 volunteers from all over the country to come and learn more about the current issues in extreme poverty and preventable disease and then asked these volunteers to spend the day visiting the Senators and Congressman that hail from their State.
It was an exciting time and we got to hear from some very inspired speakers such as H.E. Ebrahim Rasool the South African Ambassador to the United States, Gayle Smith the Special Assistant to the President, and Roger Thurow an author and Senior Fellow for Global Agriculture and Food Policy with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs who wrote the book Enough: Why the world’s poor starve in an age of plenty which mentions the work of Foods Resource Bank. It was a great opportunity to meet others who are also working towards similar goals and it was another opportunity to learn.
One tool we used in the meetings with our Representatives was a calculator that takes the amount you make in a year and determines how much of your yearly income goes towards Foreign Assistance. I urge you to check it out at
Overall, we were able to meet with both of the Senate offices in Illinois and Missouri as well as 6 Illinois Congressional Offices and 3 Missouri Congressional Offices. It was not only an enjoyable week but also a productive one.
Written by Eric Mattson, Assoc. Dir. of Development and New Ventures