Dear John Breen:

{ Monday, December 31, 2007 }

I'm intrigued by the amount of controversy and speculation over your brilliant online effort,

Some people say that since you aren't a registered charity, your effort is suspect. Some use guesswork data to try to calculate how much money you must be skimming off the top. Some grouse that 10 grains of rice isn't that much.

I am intrigued that people (a) have this need to grouse, henpeck, and smarm and (b) have not stopped to think that if you weren't really delivering rice, the United Nations World Food Program would have slapped your hand by now. If you weren't delivering enough new funds to make their admin costs worthwhile, they would have ignored you.

Your effort at is making a difference. Because of you, someone somewhere is more likely to live today, be able to hug her children, be able to work, and go to sleep with the hope that she can do this again tomorrow.

The two things I'm most thankful for about and your other site,

  1. Every time I play the vocabulary game at, I become more likely to remember to give money directly to hunger charities. I am more likely to remember that hunger charities and hungry people exist. I am more likely to click the links to educate myself about hunger.

  2. You are just one guy! You are just one guy who decided not to ignore the voice in his head that said, "I can do something here." Thank you for this example of follow-through. I don't have to have all the resources in the world - I just have to follow through on the ideas that I do have.

Even if the grousers and henpeckers were right, I'd hate for them to have the last word. The grousers can so easily intimidate other people from trying to help. The henpeckers can so easily make us feel our ideas and gestures are too small and feeble.

Thank you for putting in motion; thank you for the vocabulary game; thank you for the encouragement to just get up and try.

Wishing you a new year that is both eventful and peaceable, and sharing with you my hopes for its powerful and joyful days.


Ann Elizabeth

Hunger Links

Go play the game at!
Read NPR's story about John Breen.
Read a bit more at
Read a lot more at the World Food Programme and the World Hunger Education Service.
In Kansas City, read at the Harvesters site about local hunger and how you can help.

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