The Privilege of Partnering
By Michael Yoder, Executive Director
It’s been an invigorating first month for me at Associated Ministries! There are so many great people to meet, and so many life-changing programs to learn about; as much as anything else I’m excited by the powerful potential that exists as we learn to partner even better with the faith community, funders, civic institutions and other organizations.
Helen McGovern-Pilant is one of the amazing people I’ve been privileged to meet since joining the AM team. Helen has served as the Executive Director of the Emergency Food Network since 2009. EFN is doing outstanding work in Pierce County and AM is proud to partner with them (we even helped start EFN back in 1985!). Helen has been active in the Lakewood community for many years, including being elected to the City Council and appointed Deputy Mayor. Over the past 25 years Helen has served on more than 20 volunteer boards and councils, and she has a proven record in bringing together diverse interests and establishing partnerships that result in meaningful solutions. What a privilege it is for us to partner with committed people like her and outstanding organizations like the Emergency Food Network!
In addition to launching EFN, Associated Ministries has been bringing awareness to the issue of hunger in our community for many years. That’s one of the primary reasons we produce the Hunger Walk event every year: to raise funds for hunger relief in Pierce County and beyond. 2015 was our 35th year of staging the Hunger Walk to unite and mobilize our community in the fight against hunger.
Every year we host as many as 1,000 walkers and their families from every walk of life, businesses, civic groups, schools and communities of all faiths on the first Sunday in October. Our goal this year was to raise $200,000, which will provide nearly 1.2 million meals for children and families.
But even if you didn’t make it out to this year’s Hunger Walk, we’ve extended our efforts beyond the walk itself by launching the “35 Days…35 Ways” hunger relief campaign. This new initiative runs through Oct. 16 and consists of many creative suggestions for ways you can support hunger relief that don’t involve walking. I’m hopeful that you’ll be part of our “35 Ways” campaign and show your support for urgent hunger needs in our area. It’s easy to make a difference, and the need has never been greater.
Thank you so much for your support of Associated Ministries; how encouraging it is to partner with you to build a stronger community. If I didn’t get to meet you at the Hunger Walk I hope I can do so at our “Lead the Way Home” breakfast on November 5; confirm your reservation now and I look forward to seeing you there!