Over the last three years, Food for the Hungry (FH) Canada has spearheaded an innovative and collaborative online platform called endingpovertytogether.org. In this virtual arena, over 40 Canadian organizations who participate in poverty alleviation contribute dynamic educational resources for Canadians in search of healthy ways to address poverty right here in our own country. One of the most exciting outcomes of endingpovertytogether.org has been the many unforeseen and life-giving partnerships that are flourishing between contributing organizations and FH. Who would have imagined that, as a result of such partnerships, FH would offer diverse training in the areas of Canadian food security, listening workshops, and even foster parenting?
But when you consider FH’s core poverty philosophy, it makes sense. FH believes that at the heart of poverty lies broken relationships—with God, self, others, and creation. Ending poverty, therefore, depends on reconciling and healing relational brokenness—whatever form it takes.
One recent partnership aimed at increasing Canadian food security is with Archway Community Services, who run the Abbotsford Food Bank. Archway sought out Ross Road Community Church (RCCC) to become the first satellite distribution point when they saw the need to expand their food distribution services. RRCC coordinated with FH to provide all potential volunteers with an adapted FH workshop on poverty.
When asked about FH’s training, Pastor Craig Thiessen said, “The Ending Poverty Together training helped us to think strategically about how we help people. It helped us to see our own poverty first so that we could come alongside our guests with humility rather than seeing ourselves as superior. We were challenged to think about long-term solutions instead of short-term fixes. And, perhaps above all, it encouraged us to enter into relationship with people rather than simply focusing on material needs.” Archway now plans to use this content to better equip individuals who desire to serve their community through Food Bank initiatives.
A second partnership to emerge is with Telecare Crisis andCaring Line, a listening ministry for people who need a safe person to talk to. Telecare provides training for phone line volunteers, and developed the Listen Up in-person workshop which gives the community at large an opportunity to sharpen their listening skills. But doing in-person learning has become more challenging in these COVID-19 times. FH and Telecare quickly identified their shared core belief that learning to listen is foundational to reconciling relationships. It was a natural next step to partner together to develop an online version of Listen Up set to launch in fall 2020.
A third unforeseen but truly powerful partnership arising from connections made through endingpovertytogether.org is with Forever Families of Canada. They are an organization passionate to see every Canadian church community empowered to effectively serve children and families in crisis. Poverty—in its fullest definition—is at the core of so much within Canadian child welfare. Executive Director, Wendi Park, says this of the joint training FH and Forever Families now offer churches: “We desire to see an informed compassionate Church who not only relieves crises, but actively builds authentic community. FH gets it and has excellent facilitators with adaptable training content for global and local contexts. Partnering with FH has been refreshing because they are all about collaboration and working towards the greater good. We couldn't imagine working with another organization in equipping churches on poverty.”
Fighting poverty can be exhausting, particularly if you feel like you’re alone in helping. That’s why endingpovertytogether.org has fostered a growing desire among organizations to work together. We’re sharing our areas of expertise, avoiding redundancies, and learning from each other. By partnering we gain wisdom and creativity from one another. The result? We create ways for Canadians to learn about the vast range of issues related to poverty, and the equally diverse responses available to them.
LEARN WITH US
Ending Poverty Together Workshop
An interactive workshop from a biblical foundation designed to help redefine the way you think about poverty—both causes and solutions—in Canada and abroad.
Understanding Yourself and Others Workshop
Your “personal style”, how you think and act, can be so different from another’s that ‘something’ just isn’t working. Understanding these can help your team— spouse, family, committee, church, or business— succeed together.
Have you checked out the over 400 resources pulled together on one site from over 40 organizations experienced in tackling poverty? You might just find the perspective, information, or solution you’re looking for.
Listen Up Workshop
You appreciate a good listener, and there are times you want to be that for others. FH and Telecare Crisis & Caring Line have teamed up to offer a half-day, interactive online workshop to help you lend your ear.
To sign up for or browse training events, or to request a workshop for your community, visit fhcanada.org/Education.