March 2023 – Rev. Michele Van Son Neill
Feeding Hope for Grassroots Visionaries
Yesterday my son and I spent several hours packing food in boxes at Second Harvest Food Bank. If you’ve never been, I strongly recommend it: 1. clear mission, 2. well oiled machine, 3. high volume impact. Their slogan is Feeding Hope which is a clever reference to how their mercy work (feeding the hungry) is required before Maslow’s higher hierarchy of needs (hope) is possible.
When considering where to give our time, talents, resources, witness, and presence we have an opportunity to consider both mercy work and justice work. Mercy work is putting food in boxes and delivering it to hungry people to consume for one meal. Justice work eliminates the reasons people are hungry (lack of a living wage, unaffordable housing, poor education, unsafe neighborhoods, etc.). Justice work is expensive and complex, but it is the only way to make deep, lasting change.
Crave does justice work for grassroots visionaries in Central Florida by removing barriers and providing access to resources (relational, educational, financial, etc.). This was super evident at our Class VI Welcome Dinner earlier this month. Crave visionaries lead mercy efforts with impact that can ultimately change the course of generational poverty.
Please take a peek at our Class VI leader bios and dreams here. Crave coaches have been oriented; professional development sessions (strategic planning, consumer profiles, fundraising, etc.) are being finalized; and Class VI Soul-Tending sessions have begun in the way they always do: the Holy Spirit shows up tenderly, specifically, and powerfully bonds a group of former strangers who believe the world can be better…and are committing their lives to doing just that!
Keep an eye out for future Crave updates about Class VI. Class V had a miraculous nucleus around mental health. Class VI is focused on children: in foster care, educationally under-resourced, housing insecure, living in unsafe neighborhoods, and those with developmental disabilities.
Crave does justice work by breaking through cultural/systemic barriers and increasing access to resources and opportunities by connecting different people with similar missions. If any of the Crave VI mercy work for families and children is speaking to you, or you have experience to share, or a desire to learn more, please let us know here!
Thank you for being a critical part of Central Florida’s grassroots visionary impact!
Michele Van Son Neill Founder and Executive Director Crave of Florida, Inc.