An open letter to the presidential candidates

Dear presidential candidate,

I consider myself a good citizen and a patriot. I take pride in my country and care about the well-being of my fellow Americans. I want America to prosper. I hope that the United States will be a global leader for good, far into the 21st century.

I also care about the poor and vulnerable around the globe, especially women and children. The United States is a generous nation, full of the most generous people in the world. We must maintain this generous spirit and continue fighting for a better world.

How we spend our federal dollars reflects our values as a nation. Poverty-focused programs help build a better world and ensure a safer future for us. We know that diseases know no boundaries and that hunger and poverty lead to instability. We can help prevent these conditions.

As a voter and potential supporter of your candidacy, I’m asking you to declare your commitment to America’s foreign assistance programs. I trust that you believe, as I do, that reducing global hunger and disease is in our national interest.

Today, hundreds of thousands of people in Africa and around the world are alive because of America’s historic commitment to fight HIV and AIDS. This is just one among countless examples of how the United States can be a force for good in the world.

As president, I ask that you reaffirm our commitment to fighting global poverty and disease. While the budget deficit is a moral issue, so is saving the lives of children.

Right now, we spend less than 1 percent on global poverty-focused programs. While I recognize that times are tight, I strongly believe that we must protect this very small yet extremely effective part of the federal budget.

Please publicly declare your support for maintaining funding for life-saving foreign assistance programs and demonstrate your leadership as an advocate for vulnerable children around the world.

Sincerely,

A concerned American


Do you agree? Send your preferred candidate a message and share your views.

    Comments

    Thanks for the encouragement, Andrea! Glad you're on board to being an advocate for vulnerable children. -Jonathan, WV staff

    Rowendora, thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights. We do appreciate and share your concern for people in need right here in our own country.

    In terms of budget allocation, the United States spends 21 percent ($732 billion) of the federal budget on domestic poverty programs; 14 percent of the federal budget ($496 billion) went to support programs that provide aid to individuals and families facing hardship.

    On the other hand, out of the total federal budget, less than 1 percent is committed to international poverty programs and foreign aid. We simply wanted to point out that such a tiny portion of the budget, which is cost-effective and helps save so many lives, is well worth supporting and preserving.

    Again, though, World Vision shares your concern about the well-being of children everywhere, including those right here in the United States.

    Please take some time to look at this link, which provides more information about World Vision’s domestic work: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/learn/us-home. Also, check out posts on this blog containing stories and reflection about our programs here in the United States: http://blog.worldvision.org/tag/u-s-programs/

    If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at 1.888.511.6502 or via email at wvfamily@worldvision.org. Thank you again!

    This is and has been an ongoing problem for decades, although it IS exciting to see that the HIV/AIDS prevalence rates have actually been dropping and praise goes to many organizations and education platforms, designed to make a difference in/for this nation of many and varied needs! One such organization that has earned the favor of at least 10 African nations' presidents, is Rafiki (www.rafiki-foundation.org)- as they not only offer classical education and homes for orphans (10 per cottage with a native mama), and work training for young women, men and widows, they also provide Christian curriculum to parochial schools there. Send this type of effective organization your encouragement and also plan to support some of these orphans, as they are destined to become leaders for healthy change there!

    The problem is that foreign aid usually fails due to the corrupt governments that we give the money to. Private charities work and we should support those instead of foreign aid.

    "a force for good in the world." YES! I agree! I'll be sending this on to the candidates. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

    more needs to done with this, shame this still goes on.

    I could not disagree more. My family supports 7 WV kids. It is OUR responsibilty as followers of Christ to support charities like WV and the Salvation Army. Not the government's. Look what happened to the country's charities during the FD years and later. They shriveled because government grew. If this is an official WV position my family will need to reconsider where our money is going.

    GH - I agree that it is part of our call as followers of Christ to serve the poor. Obviously, WV agrees with that. It is what motivates their work.

    Why shouldn't the government support that work as well? Would you really consider walking away from 7 kids that you support because WV accepts foreign aid grants from the government?

    I DONT AGREE WITH ALL OF YOU ON THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD SUPPORT PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHERE DO WE GET THIS MENTALITY OF THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO TAKE CARE OF US.THE GOVERNMENTS JOB IS TO PROTECT US AS A NATION THE GOV.HAS GOTTEN TOO BIG FOR ITS BRITCHES.i AM A SENIOR AND I WAS RAISED TO TAKE CARE OF MY SELF AND IF MY NEIGHHBOR NEEDED HELP WE HELPED EACH OTHER OR THE CHURCH HELPED AND WE TURNED TO CHARITIES AND IN SPECIAL CASES THE CITY OR STATE DID SHORT TIME HELP AND WE DID WELL.WE HAVE BECOME A NATION OF DEPENDENCY WE AS A NATION CAN DO ONLY SO MUCH FOR PEOPLE OF OTHER NATIONS AND THAT SHOULD BE THRU CHARITY NOT THRU GOVERNMENT.THERE IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE POVERTY ONLY WHEN THE LORD COMES AND USHERS IN HIS KINGDOM WILL THINGS CHANGE TILL THEN WE NEED TO PRAY FOR THE LOST AND AND KEEP HELPING THRU CHARITABLE WORK THAT'S WHAT THE LORD DID HE DID NOT TELL THE GOV. TO DO IT

    GH, first off, thank you for being a supporter of World Vision and changing the lives of 7 children and their communities! We take our donor questions and concerns very seriously. If you have more concerns, please don't hesitate to call us at 888.511.6502.

    As followers of Christ, we also believe that individuals have a responsibility. But the communities we are associated with -- our families, churches, and nation -- also have a responsibility. No one entity can do this by itself, and there is a role for both public and private engagement.

    When done right, foreign aid is very cost-effective and saves lives. U.S. global humanitarian programs are some of the most cost-effective programs within the federal budget. Together, they amount to $50 per American per year, just 14 cents per American per day. There are very few places within the federal budget where such a small amount of money can directly save so many lives. For the small cost of a malaria bed net, a vaccine, a meal, or some medication, the life of a parent or child can be saved.

    World Vision knows that these are tough economic times and that the government has tough decisions to make as it revisits opportunities for budget cuts. However, together we can pull together toward a common purpose. It is our hope that part of this common purpose will be a balance between protecting our children’s future from debt and saving children’s lives today. It is possible and critical that we do both.

    Thank you again for your feedback and your generous support of our ministry. God bless. -Peter, WV staff

    GH, I completely agree with you. Key phrase in your response, Peter, "when done right". I would venture to say that U.S. Government rarely does foreign aid, "right", especially compared with private christian organizations. And remember, forcing anyone (via taxation) to give aid to someone else is not the equivalent of biblical giving with a joyful heart. In fact, it could be more closely equated to the sin of stealing.

    When we take care of others, we live more prosperous.

    We must not forget and help those who cannot help thmeselves. One must realize that Jesus while He was living among us, that he mostly stayed and taught to the poor and downcast. We need to set an example and protect those Jesus cares so much about......the poor.

    Thanks very much, James, for your note and encouragement. We fully agree and believe that as followers of Christ, we are called to care for the "least of these."

    A verse that reminds us daily of the work that we do is from James 1:27: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..."

    Thank you again for your comment. God bless! -Peter, WV staff

    America is a leadership country so let us not lose focus on helping our friends in the world by setting the loving example by funding global poverty-focused programs

    There are so many things we can support...This is a good one but I believe that we have so many children and families in the United States that should recieve the funding from the US first. Even though this is considered a wealthy country we are not.

    60 Minutes had a story on a couple of children living out of a van because their father lost his job from cutbacks so they lost the house. That is the story of many in this country.

    I'm not saying it's a bad thing to support other countries children, but what are you doing about the children in your own country?

    Dear Americans, i read the history of your nation from an old encyclopedia. Injustice (land-media-politics-banks) is everywhere. Thanks to good people the nation stood fairly well but if i judge the above 4 there is a lot of work to be done. "The Kingdom of Heaven (Luke chapter 17 verse 20-37) does not come by drawing the attention of the people...". I think that it came, the inverse rapture took or will take place. Is like Helen Exley in her books said: Do not be afraid if your life will end ( Luke chapter 12 verse 1-12), be afraid if you do not have a beginning.

    I think there should be more of a focus on encouraging individuals to send support through organizations like WV. I'm rather libertarian, so I don't think that it's the government's job to have these sorts of programs long-term. However, I also recognize that the government is merely stepping into the void left by no-longer generous citizens. It is certainly a complicated problem, but I know a balance can be reached. (Does that even make sense? Feeling rather jumbled at the moment.)

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