Episcopal Relief & Development announces the launch of ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE, a $3 million grassroots Church-wide fundraising campaign dedicated to expanding the organization’s global programs improving the lives of children up to age six. The campaign started on Sept. 4, 2019, and will run for 1,000 days, ending May 31, 2022.
“Love allows us to bridge great distances so that children an ocean away are as precious to us as the little ones living right down the block,” said the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church and Honorary Co-Chair of ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE. “Episcopal Relief & Development’s programs with children share our love with thousands of children in Africa, Asia and Latin America. With your help, we can demonstrate God’s love to thousands more.”
Research shows that the first 1,000 days for children are critical in setting a foundation that affects their ability to grow, learn and thrive over their entire lives. Around the world, 155 million children under five are stunted due to inadequate nutrition and health care. Episcopal Relief & Development works with communities to ensure that children have access to food, clean water, and quality health care.
“Earlier this year, I visited Zambia to see first-hand the remarkable difference that Episcopal Relief & Development and its partners are making in the lives of children and their families. What I witnessed is a testament to the power of communities that collaborate with resourceful minds and generous hearts,” said the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church and Honorary Co-Chair of ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE.
One example of how the organization is changing the lives of children is through Moments That Matter, a program partnership of Episcopal Relief & Development that works directly with mothers, fathers and other primary caregivers to improve the growth and development of children up to age three. The program also links families with available health, nutrition and critical services provided by government and other stakeholders and strengthens the community’s early childhood development capabilities.
Moments That Matter is just one of the organization’s successful initiatives that will be expanded over the next three years. Other work includes a water, sanitation, and hygiene program in Angola which reduces child mortality by creating sustainable community-led access to water and a partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala focused on Savings with Education (SwE) groups and kitchen gardens, providing increased economic stability and improved nutrition for individuals, families and children. These and other programs can be expanded through the success of the ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE campaign.
“We believe that every child deserves to reach their full potential,” said Abagail Nelson, Senior Vice President, Programs for Episcopal Relief & Development. “Our integrated programs are designed to work together, to address many of the challenges faced by marginalized communities, and to give children the opportunity to thrive throughout their lives.”
Episcopal Relief & Development invites individuals, congregations and dioceses to join ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE by engaging in acts of love of their own. These acts can include:
- Learning about the campaign and the organization’s work with children.
- Sharing the campaign with their congregations and communities on social media, through online peer-to-peer fundraising and other creative campaign activities.
- Giving as an individual or congregation to help expand the organization’s work with children.
“We encourage you to visit the website to learn more about how you and your congregation can get involved. This is only the beginning! We will be sharing additional resources and activities as the campaign moves forward,” said Chad Brinkman, Director, Campaign with Episcopal Relief & Development. “Regardless of how you choose to participate, we hope people will see ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE as a meaningful opportunity to join us in ministry and in loving our global community through caring and nurturing our children.”
“Through the ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE campaign, we have the opportunity to help thousands more children reach their God-given potential to learn, grow and thrive,” continued President Jennings. “I hope all Episcopalians will join me in giving generously to improve the lives of children around the globe.”
To learn more about ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE and how individuals and congregations can participate, please visit episcopalrelief.org/1000DaysOfLove.