A Journey of the Heart

Editor’s Note:

Many S.E.C. members have commitments that take them into their communities – volunteering their time and/or money to support their church, nonprofit organizations, and neighborhood schools. Chuck and Marilyn Sutherland have a deep commitment to saving children’s lives and empowering poor women and their families to end their own hunger.

Marilyn Sutherland has been a volunteer with RESULTS since 1987 when she realized that she could take action that would not only “make a difference” but could save a child’s life. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology, and holds two Masters degrees in Speech/Language Pathology and Organizational Learning. She is an active volunteer in her community and works with her husband Chuck Sutherland, S.E.C., in his business.

Here is an interesting story by Marilyn I know you’ll enjoy.

Marilyn Sutherland, An Observer Guest Columnist

There are many organizations working to fight hunger and poverty around the world. RESULTS’ particular focus is unique: we work to create the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty and to empower individuals in exercising their own personal and political power. In 1976, the National Academy of Sciences reported that we had the technology and the resources to end hunger in a single generation if the political will to do so could be created.

We at RESULTS know that this will only happen by educating both the public and our decision makers about the possibility of ending hunger and the worst aspects of poverty.

RESULTS identifies key, cost effective solutions that can most effectively alleviate hunger and the devastating impact that poverty has on families, communities, and society as a whole. Through RESULTS, we support citizens in using their voices to influence their elected officials and cause change. Through our tax-deductible arm, RESULTS Educational Fund, we inform the public about hunger, poverty, and opportunities to create positive change. Both are critically important.

In 1985, thanks in part to the efforts of RESULTS, Congress began to set money aside specifically for child survival activities. In 1995, Congress protected these funds by creating a special account in the foreign aid budget to prioritize funding for child survival and other health programs. Congress has continued to prioritize and expand this account.

As the amount of child survival funding has increased, global child death rates have fallen. The number of children dying from largely preventable causes has fallen from 40,000 per day in 1990 to less than 30,000 per day in 2000. We have made progress.

RESULTS continues to lobby the U.S. Congress to ensure that precious child survival resources within the Child Survival and Health Account in our annual foreign aid spending bill are protected and expanded, including funding for UNICEF, micronutrient programs, and vitamin A supplementation.

Microcredit – the practice of providing very poor people, especially women, with access to credit can allow them to transform their own and their families’ lives, providing better nutrition, education, housing and health for themselves and their children. In impoverished parts of the world, a tiny loan – $150 or less – provided at competitive interest rates for starting or expanding a self-employment venture can allow people to support themselves, breaking the cycle of poverty. RESULTS has made microcredit a key solution for ending poverty. In 1995, RESULTS created a separate organization, the Microcredit Summit, whose goal is to have 100 million families, receive microcredit loans by 2005. In 1995, 6.7 million families were receiving loans; now nearly 70 million families are receiving microcredit loans and we are well on our way to achieving the goal of 100 million families.

Microcredit is also a strategy for addressing poverty for low income Americans. Loans of $500- $1500 allow someone with a small catering business to buy a new stove or a seamstress to buy a new sewing machine.

RESULTS focuses on funding for domestic and international programs that address economic opportunity, education and health as well as the underlying issues of hunger and poverty. Chuck just completed serving a two-year term as a grassroots board member and is now the Treasurer of RESULTS. Marilyn leads the Dallas Fort Worth group and is one of the leaders in developing the RESULTS Strategic Plan for 2015.

If you would like more information on how you could make a difference in ensuring poor children and families have the opportunities to end his or her own hunger, call or email Marilyn Sutherland – 214-696-6926 or kodish@swbell.net.

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