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It's Time to Scream
Elliot Gershenson, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston

March, 2011

The Strength of Shared Beliefs

Tuesday Memo

March 22, 2011


March for Meals, the national campaign for Meals on Wheels is underway and IM is right in the middle of our own campaign.  You may have heard us on KUHF and many of you have received one of our mail pieces recently. 


One year ago we were serving about 4,000 home-bound seniors a day - and now we are serving about 4,600 each weekday.  In simple math that works out to about $750,000 more to feed seniors this year- and you all know that there will be very little new money from our government contracts - and you can pray along with me that not much is cut!


For IM to go above and beyond feeding so many folks, it takes a dynamic partnership between all segments of our community - from corporate support (special thanks to Shell Oil Company and Motiva Enterprises LLC who recently became this year's Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston Lead Corporate Sponsor) to congregations (Congregations Emanu El and St. Luke's United Methodist Church were our two largest faith community sponsors last year together sponsoring about 50 seniors!) to foundations (we are so fortunate to have the support of many foundations - especially one anonymous foundation now sponsors 150 seniors alone!!) to individuals just like you and me.


One of our donors does something very special.  Each year he sponsors 10 seniors and then has the two corporate boards he sits on match his gift- so we end up getting almost triple his gift!  Many of you out there work for generous companies who do the same.  Please fill out those forms!


IM needs to raise over $3,000,000 in cash and in-kind gifts this year.  It's a big road - but it's what makes it possible for us to feed home-bound seniors, resettle refugees and everything else we do!


If you want to donate online - just click here.  Thanks!


Here's a couple of other March for Meals events and one other important announcement:


·         We are holding our next aniMeals on Wheels pet food drive on March 25th & 26th. We are now serving more than 6,500 pounds of pet food a month to our clients - almost all donated by wonderful folks like you.  You can donate by dropping off cat and dog food, both wet and dry here at IM 3217 Montrose Blvd.      


·         When you eat at any of the three California Pizza Kitchens on March 31st, 20% of the proceeds will go to IM's Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston.  All you need to do is bring in a coupon - to print yours click here. You get great food, and seniors get to eat too!


·         IM's 2011 Tapestry Gala is just around the corner on Tuesday, May 3rd.  We are honoring two outstanding Houstonians, Ambassador Arthur Schechter and the Honorable Fred Zeidman.  Both Arthur and Fred are active politically and best friends.  The interesting twist is that one is an ardent Democrat and the other is equally avid Republican.  We think that now is a great time to show that folks from both ends of the political spectrum can be friends.  Sort of sounds like IM's message, doesn't it?  To learn more, click here.




It dawns on me that it may be time to get angry, which may surprise you.  I've been talking a lot lately about civility and such and somehow the quiet voices are not being heard. 


Since I count myself among the many political centrists just to the right or left of the middle- where I believe many of us find ourselves, I don't scream much. But because the folks on the outer rims of political life scream a lot, we don't get heard.  Or listened to, nearly as much as I think we should.


I think that the majority of us want government to be as small as possible while it educates our young, keeps us safe, builds our roads and infrastructure, provides a safety net for the least among us, creates jobs through innovative science and technology research and business development, provides Social Security and Medicare and plays a responsible role as a leader of those of us who want to live in free and open societies.  It sure seems like I must be a liberal - because that's a pretty long list.  But I don't think any of those agenda items, are liberal or conservative.  What makes them centrist is that we know that we need to pay for whatever amount of government we want.  And we can't pretend that these things are just "government waste."  These are vital functions that only government, with support of "we the people" can do.  In short government needs to invest not only in today, but in tomorrow.


So maybe we have to make more noise.  But it's hard to make noise when what you've got to say doesn't fit into a five to ten word diatribe.  We are calling for serious discussion - policy discussions that don't fit neatly into any box.  It's boring stuff. 


But if we don't get to the boring stuff - I promise you this - we'll be screaming all the way down as we fall off the cliff. 


Talk to you in two weeks.


Elliot Gershenson

President and CEO

Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston 


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