Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Remarks for One Another Foundation annual breakfast

One Another Foundation Annual Breakfast
October 22, 2013

It’s wonderful to see how this breakfast has grown over the past few years, along with the community support for this Foundation. And I have to tell you, of all the organizations that I’m involved with, this one gets me the most excited. 

I have the privilege of serving this community in the legislature. And it just so happens that state government is the primary provider of social services to people in our community. Hundreds of people get help from the DSHS Community Service Office in downtown Puyallup every day. Let me give you some statistics: 

  • In one recent month, 36,928 people received basic food assistance through the Puyallup DSHS office. This amounted to an average allotment of $263.31 per person, or about $4.6 million combined.
  • In another recent month, 1,997 people went to the DSHS office to apply for new benefits
  • That same month, 2,462 people requested an EBT card
  • And in that same month, the DSHS office in Puyallup recorded nearly 12,000 client contacts in its lobby or by phone. That’s 3,000 contacts per week and 600 contacts per day.
There are a number of advantages to the state providing these services. Indeed, I believe it’s important for government to provide these services.

But I want to say three things. First of all, government will never be able to do it all. No matter how much money we have at the state, we can’t meet all the needs of all the people in our community.

Second, government cannot provide for the spiritual needs of individuals and families. Government can cut checks and help people get by, but government cannot fix people’s deepest problems.

And third, our community’s network of private faith-based organizations is the best way I know of to address the material and spiritual needs of people in our community. This network is made of nonprofit organizations, families, churches, businesses, philanthropists, and volunteers. And my own opinion is that these community partners are better at loving and caring for people in need than any government bureaucracy ever was. The One Another Foundation exists to build the network of community partners that is helping to meet needs and to get Christians more active in service to their neighbors. 

This morning I want to recognize some of the people who make up that network of service.

If you’re the pastor of a church, would you stand?
Now remain standing, but I want to ask some others to join them:
If you work for a nonprofit or ministry organization, would you stand?
If you’re a teacher or educator, would you stand?
If you work in public service – police, fire, elected service, military, and the like, would you stand?
If you’re a business owner, would you stand?
If you volunteer for a faith-based nonprofit or ministry organization, would you stand?

Everyone in this room is doing something wonderful. Imagine what we could do together if we all did a little bit more to help the people in need in our midst.

The One Another Foundation is getting people to do that little bit more.  It’s raising awareness of the needs in our community. It’s challenging churches to expand their outreach. It’s matching volunteers with ministry opportunities. And it’s changing Puyallup for the better.