Last Thursday, November 3rd, I received this email in my inbox . . .
Did you know ONE is much more than just an online campaigning organization? Across the United States, ONE has hundreds of volunteer activists that organize to take action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease.
Robert, would you like to join ONE activists in the Southeast and attend an online ONE Leadership Academy?
What: ONE Leadership Academy
When: Saturday, 11/7 from 3-6pm ET (2-5pm CT)
I hope you can join us!
Scoggins Berg, Regional Organizing Manager
* * * *
I knew something about ONE’s work and Bono’s association with it. And since I was mulling over a needing to “spread my wings” a bit—and sensing a prompting of the Spirit, I decided to sign up for the event. It affords me an opportunity to acquaint you, my readers, about their dedicated approach to ending world poverty. You see one such approach in the above photo as they’re on a visit to Congress. I’ll tell you what Scoggins said about about what they look for in either supporting a bill or proposing a new one to impact some aspect of ending poverty in the world.
So I attended that introductory afternoon virtual session and their subsequent Southeast monthly gathering the following Monday night and met about twenty of their volunteers—some representatives on college campuses—others who’ve been with ONE for many years.
I followed with some research online and I’d like to share with you what I’ve found out.
ONE is a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity.
Sounds idealistic and ambitious to me and may not take into consideration what will be happening with Global Warming, but I don’t fault them for idealism at all.
They believe the fight against poverty isn’t about charity, but about justice and equality.
Whether lobbying political leaders in world capitals or running cutting-edge grassroots campaigns, ONE pressures governments to do more to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, and empowers citizens to hold their governments to account.
ONE’s supporters are crucial to this work. They come from every walk of life and from across the political spectrum. They’re artists and activists, faith and business leaders, students and scientists. They take action day in, day out — organizing, mobilizing, educating, and advocating so that people will have the chance not just to survive, but to thrive.
ONE’s teams in Abuja, Berlin, Brussels, Dakar, Johannesburg, London, New York, Ottawa, Paris and Washington DC, educate and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives — and which every year are under threat from cuts and other priorities.
Co-founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver and other activists, ONE is strictly nonpartisan. ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funds. ONE is funded almost entirely by foundations, individual philanthropists and corporate partners.
ONE has always said: “We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice.” ONE supporters use their voices – and their political clout – to persuade their government representatives to support effective programs that spur development and are making a real, measurable difference in the fight against extreme poverty and disease.
So, what does my posting a blog on ONE have to do with my ordinary work as a priest to share the gospel, you may ask?
Everything! God has definitely set his preferential option with the poor of the world. Consider some of these scriptures . . . .
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. — Psalm 9:9
“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother.” Deuteronomy 15:7
“Looking at his disciples, he said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.’” Luke 6:20-21
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31: 8-9
“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:13-14