Only 41 Months Remain
Dr. Napoleon Hill, who practically created the self-help industry, advised his “students” to create a definite major purpose – a point of single minded focus – and assign a specific date to it. This tends to focus the “student.” To achieve a clearly articulated goal in a clearly articulated time period puts into perspective what is important and what is not important.
Following said advice, we took time out this past weekend to study and plan the next stages of the By2015:AMERICA movement. This is easier said than done, especially in a Recession where state, city and federal governments are shutting down, or threatening to shut down, due to a perceived lack of funds. Compounding the problem, only 41 months exist between now and the goal date of December 31, 2015.
That generates a tremendous amount of pressure.
It took Don Burrell Jr.’s Stellar Management 14 months to set up George Bell’s Childrens Meal Mission (CMM) with a 501 3c. In only its second summer, CMM is serving children three meals a day, five days a week out of the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club (in Anchorage.) Thanks to a partnership with The Anchorage Press, we were able to successfully navigate the State legislature and be awarded $75,580 during the current fiscal year.
Yet, that is one site. With 33,000 children estimated to be hungry in Alaska, room exists for the expansion of all children-based feeding programs state-wide. (I hear the Girl Scouts are doing a wonderful job in South East Alaska!) By working hard – as hard as we have these last 18 months – I imagine that we can succeed in directing attention state-wide towards the 33,000 Alaskan children who are hungry by December 31, 2015.
Unfortunately, that is not the goal. The goal is to inspire America to address 1 out of 4 children NATION-WIDE who are hungry. That amounts to approximately 19.5 million children scattered among 301 million Americans. We have 41 months to do what we did in 14 months.
To drive home the situation we are facing, Justice Born on facebook contacted me this past weekend. He shared the status of one of his friends, Andrew Will. Will was saddened over a scene he experienced in Las Vegas. He visited not one, but two food pantries which were refusing clients! He was forced to witness a little boy crying as his mother left a pantry empty-handed, “How are we gonna eat?” Like most Americans, Andrew Will did not know the anti-hunger network was strained to the degree it is refusing people services.
People assume the money (and/or resources) are just coming from somewhere, like they always have.
This weekend it really dawned on me how what the By2015:AMERICA movement desires to accomplish has never succeeded before. Due to the obstacles involved, eliminating hunger in America has remained a “dream” inside of the heads of anti-hunger advocates. We can “dream” no longer. The lives of too many are at stake.
Earlier this year, By2015:AMERICA’s lead coordinator, Kokayi Nosakhere, issued a challenge to America’s college students. In an event sponsored by Trey Josey III’s Diff3r3nt By D3sign and the University of Alaska, Anchorage, Nosakhere said, “If you are gifted at organizing – if you possess charisma and people are influenced by your personality – this is an urgent call to arms!”
Here is what we need college students across the country to commit too.
1) Organize your club or spiritual community to conduct a Peanut Butter Drive in your area. A plan exists on this blog to help you. It provides a step-by-step outline of what you need to do to collect at least 300 pounds of peanut butter and deliver it to your MOST LOCAL food pantry. In this manner, we help food pantries deal with some of the strain on resources they are experiencing.
2) Make a commitment to participate in the political process. As frustrating as politics can be, the solution to American politics is greater civic engagement, not less. If you are at the table when decisions are being made, the decisions you want get made. We are asking you to vote in EVERY election you are qualified for – city, state and federal – between now and December 31, 2015.
3) In one month donate 20 hours of your time, talent and expertise to your MOST LOCAL food pantry or food bank. By this we mean more than your physical labor. We are speaking about using your skill set to help the pantry attain greater resources and public attention. We need your mind to create EXCEL spreadsheets, design posters and establish new partnerships with faith communities and businesses.
4) During that same month, donate $20 to your MOST LOCAL food panty or food bank.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to use the internet to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In September, the By2015:AMERICA movement is planning on traveling to those organizations which will receive it. The goal is to inspire a national week of peanut butter drives across (at least) 10 collegiate campuses generating at least 20,000 pounds of shelf-stable protein.
We can do this America. We have to. A little boy is crying in Las Vegas, “How are we gonna eat?” We have to answer that prayer.