A Reflection on the 2010 Mission Waco Banquet

A Reflection on the 2010 Mission Waco Banquet
February 10, 2010 No Comments Archives Hunger Coalition

There are times in ones community where we, as individuals, and as organizations working together, are given a unique opportunity to join our hands and see a vision that is united as one. The vision of the Mission Waco Banquet held this 2010 is not a simple one by any means necessary. It’s scope and mission is a large one with no small scale goal even worthy of true consideration. The goal of Mission Waco requires some patience, of course, but more than anything it demands unity and determination from those included in the conversation and necessary actions. Entitled, “Partners Confronting Poverty”, this min-conference of sorts was at the Baylor Ferrell Center, which lay host to an entirely consumed audience (both physically – as every seat in the center seemed to be taken, and mentally – as no one’s eyes seemed prone to swaying from one side of the room to the next, never dotting signs of boredom, all showing an understanding or recognition of the need for all due attention to be given as it was deserved to the simultaneously poetic and charged speakers). So what was the goal presented by Mission Waco’s Banquet? As the chosen title might suggest,  it is to eliminate poverty in Waco. You just have to approach it one step at a time.

Now, an important question that many folks may feel the need to ask is: Can poverty, in fact, be eliminated altogether? The answer is complex. We will always need certain security measures in place to ensure that the disenfranchised and ignored members of our society receive the benefits they deserve. And at the same time, poverty can be eliminated through the efforts of those who truly care about the well-being of others. It is an ongoing effort. And true success in bringing down the poverty levels of McLennan will come slowly. Nothing this ambitious happens overnight. However, it is a work in progress that we can all learn to work towards together in total unity.

Many moving stories were shared during the evening of the event. Ideas were also presented in fresh and exciting ways. One such idea, that made an interesting impression on me, was a new take on a classic story of aiding another. The idea of catching a fish for a man being less useful than teaching said man to fish… was given an interesting twist ending: what if the man can’t fish at the pond because he isn’t even allowed to? The powerful metaphor was made clear: Some people remain in poverty not because they are incapable of doing stellar work, but because they aren’t even given the opportunity to. There is a shocking amount of poverty that is a direct result of this very problem. We all know this is true, but unfortunately it sometimes takes a witty alteration to an important message to drive the point home.

It is with supreme confidence that I say that I felt this Banquet was extremely important to our community. I had never before been surrounded by so many influential and important people. These community members are the key – to not only the talk of change, but the actual path we will pave to a new and brighter tomorrow. Kenneth Moerbe, chairperson of the McLennan County Hunger Coalition, made one point devastatingly clear in the final speech of the night: The people in attendance and making up this core group of individuals in the Ferrell Center are the people responsible for bringing this change to McLennan citizens, to work together to make poverty truly end in Waco and McLennan. It is our responsibility to make that change happen, and it need’s to be done with immediacy and true dedication.

We can all learn from Moerbe’s statement. We can always do better. And we must always dedicate ourselves to making changes that are the most important and necessary ones for the benefit of us all.

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