In a riverside settlement, the villagers noticed a baby in the river, struggling and crying. They all looked on in horror; the baby was going to drown!
One charged into the river to save the baby. The village rejoiced. Then, the villagers noticed another baby in the river, and several rushed in to save that baby. Soon, more babies were seen floating in the river, and the entire village set to work saving them as fast as they could.
It was a lot of work, and the village people began to organize their activities in order to save the babies as they came down the river. As everyone else was busy in the rescue efforts to save the babies, two of the townspeople prepared their ship to sail upriver.
“Where are you going?” shouted one of the rescuers. “We need you here to help us save these babies!”
“We are going upstream to stop whoever is throwing the babies in!”
It’s important we remember this story, as told by MAZON President H. Eric Schockman at a food conference organized earlier this year by the Jewish sustainability group Hazon. In light of the global economic & food crisis, it’s more important than ever to “save the babies” – provide for the hungry through direct service. But we should never lose sight of our main goal – to end hunger at the source, once and for all.
At MAZON, we have long encouraged our partner organizations to take up advocacy in their communities; it is even a requirement for our grantmaking. But a key element was missing – you, our donors in the greater Jewish community, who have proven to be our loudest voices & strongest supporters. We have created a powerful new website, The GATEway (Global Advocacy as a Tool for Engagement) Project, to involve, inform & empower you to help us tip the scales against hunger once and for all.
The first thing you’ll notice after logging onto The GATEway Project website (http://gateway.mazon.org – no “www”) is a Hunger Clock, silently ticking the number of hunger-related deaths this month worldwide. This figure is sobering & saddening. It’s also a cry for action. Now. But what can I do? How can I help? Click on the “Take Action” tab, and GATEway lists Action Items (currently, Senate Bill 3529, The Global Food Security Act), who to contact and what to say. Advocacy sounds complicated, but don’t be afraid to speak out; it’s as easy as writing a letter or making a phone call (imagine you were talking to a friend or a relative). We’ve included a toolkit from American Jewish World Service, and there are plenty of facts on global hunger & advocacy in Jewish tradition you can cite in your letter. You can even copy and paste directly from the toolkit.
For almost 25 years, you have partnered with us to grant millions of dollars to “save the babies”, and we are beyond grateful. Now we ask you to continue defying expectations and join us in sailing ships as well.