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Local chapters of RESULTS hosting luncheon

Elizabeth Drew and Beth Wilson are looking for results. But their kind of results are spelled in all capital letters.

The two women are the powerhouse behind the South Kitsap Chapter of RESULTS, a nonprofit, grassroots advocacy organization started 35 years ago that is working to end poverty throughout the world.

“Our real purpose is to create the political will to end poverty,” said Wilson. “It’s a known fact that we have the capability to end hunger. What we lack is the political will to make it happen.”

Enter RESULTS.

The national website states: RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund (REF) are sister organizations that, together, are a leading force in ending poverty in the United States and around the world.

“We create long-term solutions to poverty by supporting programs that address its root causes — lack of access to medical care, education, or opportunity to move up the economic ladder. We do this by empowering ordinary people to become extraordinary voices for the end of poverty in their communities, the media, and the halls of government. The collective voices of these passionate grassroots activists, coordinated with grass-tops efforts driven by our staff, leverage millions of dollars for programs and improved policies that give low-income people the tools they need to move out of poverty.”

There are more than 100 chapters across the U.S. and they focus on U.S. or international property, or both. Activities range from calling for more funding for proven programs to ensuring that government poverty-alleviation policies produce results. This is done through meeting with elected officials, mobilizing communities to take action and working with the media to raise awareness, the website states.

Wilson came to know about the group through its Bremerton chapter about six years ago. A local artist, Alan Newberg, heads that group and asked Wilson to join.

“He’s very persuasive and he’s the one that brought RESULTS to Kitsap County,” she said. “When I began, I didn’t know a lot about Congress and how to have an impact on the legislation that Congress considers.”

But she learned through the group that individuals at the grassroots level can have an impact, if they join together and work to change how funding for hunger programs is allotted.

After meeting with the Bremerton group for some time, Wilson started a chapter for the South Kitsap area.

Drew considers herself to be a “new bee” in the group. She came to find out about RESULTS when another group she is part of, was honored by RESULTS.

She is active in Maasai Women’s Education & Empowerment Program of Silverdale. That program helps educate women in Africa to be independent and to have their own businesses.

“When Maasai received the 2011 (Kitsap County) RESULTS honor, I really got interested in what the (RESULTS) group was all about,” said Drew. “I thought this was another opportunity for me to be involved.”

Each year, the Kitsap RESULTS and its partner organization, RESULTS Education Fund, host a fund-raising luncheon with a speaker who addresses world hunger and poverty. At that luncheon, a local organization working to make a difference is honored.

This year’s event is set for 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 at the Kiana Lodge, 14976 Sandy Hook Rd. NE, in Poulsbo.

This year’s speaker will be Larry Reed, director of the MicroCredit Summit Campaign.

Reed has worked for more than 25 years through the Opportunity International Network, to give small loans to poor people, empowering them to bring themselves out of poverty. He led the company to develop the first micro-insurance brokerage which serves poor people throughout the world.

As Wilson tells, microcredit is something that RESULTS uses as a means of helping others. It was developed by Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.

“It’s a way to create economic opportunity for families so they can work their way out of poverty,” Wilson said.

Right now, the local chapter is looking for nominations for the honor on Oct. 27.

It’s amazing how many small groups there are in the community doing things to help others,” Wilson said. “There are powerful movers right here amongst us.”

The local chapter hopes to raise $28,000 through their luncheon. Tickets are $35 per person. They are hoping to have about 200 people attend.

Wilson said her work with RESULTS has helped her see that “the world is bigger than our own boundaries.”

“There is poverty here in the U.S. and through our national office in Washington D.C., we work with Congress on domestic issues to address it,” she said. “But when you look at that fact that 18,000 children die every day from hunger and disease that is preventable, we have to do more. That’s why we’re working to get Congress to spend our foreign aid where it can make the most impact.”

As a professional in the public health sector, Wilson dedicates herself to helping others.

“I ask myself everyday,” she said, “’Did I do everything I could today to make the world better?’”

To nominate a group for the Kitsap RESULTS Global Humanitarian Award, email Drew at e-drew@wavecable.com., or call her at 360-871-1414.

To find out more about the organization, go to www.results.org. Bremerton’s local chapter can be reached at 360-551-7526. South Kitsap chapter can be reached at 253-857-5234.

Tickets to the luncheon can be obtained by mailing Lene Hajek, PO Box 1031, Olalla, WA, 98359. Make checks payable to RESULTS Educational Fund.

 

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