(Reposted as part of our staff picks from 2009, originally written by Will Urquhart on 6/14/2009)
On Saturday, June 13th, Sum of Change Productions joined volunteers from Grow the Hope's Hunger Action Team who are organizing food drives to help restock the Manna Food Center in Rockville, Maryland. A sign of the economic crisis, supplies are reported to be down by 50%. The Hunger Action Team is a part of a local volunteer organization called Grow the Hope (GTH). GTH was formed by volunteers from the Bethesda Obama Office (the BOO). David Hart, the founder of GTH, said that they are working to "nurture the spark of creativity and hope that came alive during the Obama campaign."
Utilizing the same tactics they used to help elect President Obama, GTH organized house meetings, calling on members of the community to join the Hunger Action Team and take direct actions to combat the food crisis. On June 13th, volunteers gathered at a Giant in Silver Spring, Maryland, with a shopping list. They asked people to buy some extra food; a can of tuna, a box of cereal, some peanut butter. Anything nonperishable.
When President Obama (then candidate) talked about building an organization that lives on past his campaign, this is what he meant. The same strategies that helped forge a campaign for change, often as simple as volunteering some time outside a grocery store, are the same strategies we can use to make real and direct changes in our communities.
You can join Grow the Hope and build a Hunger Action Team in your neighborhood too. I urge you to sign up and ask how you can help.