Working towards peace and sustainability

A Message from our Director Mark Haim

December 27, 2013

Dear friend of Peaceworks,

In these waning days of 2013 I’m writing to personally extend both thanks to those of you actively supporting our work and an urgent call to others to join in and give us the wherewithal to continue moving forward in the New Year. Please consider the times we find ourselves in and the need to come together, thinking globally and acting locally to address these challenges and co-create a workable future.

PRESENT REALITY:  We live in perilous times. Beyond the direct impact of war on
participants and those caught in harm’s way, the Permanent War Economy and its defining mindset, which underlies so many of our public policies, are causing grievous harm to our nation and the planet. We are failing to invest in our youth and in people in general. Far too many are living without the basics, adequate housing, decent nutrition, clean air and water, quality education and healthcare.

We’re seeing an unprecedented skewing of wealth and income and, along with it, the hollowing out of the middle class. Our privacy is being eroded on a wholesale basis, all in the name of “national security.” And direct and indirect military spending is in the neighborhood of a trillion dollars a year, with politicians—many supposedly concerned about deficits—clamoring to feed more tax dollars to the hungry military beast.

Meanwhile, the greatest threats to our security, including Climate Change, are going unaddressed. Real Security concerns and sustainability are largely ignored, or addressed with platitudes, rather than effective policies. And power continues to accrue in the hands of a tiny elite who not only control the major corporations and the bulk of our nation’s wealth, but also are exercising ever greater political influence.

PEACEWORKS’ UNIQUE PERSEPCTIVE:  Unfortunately, this constellation of interconnected issues is seldom addressed by most liberal, environmental, peace or other single-issue groups. Peaceworks, on the other hand, gets to the roots and connects the dots. Sustainability, peace economy, climate action, economic and social justice all are pieces of the same puzzle.

That’s why you’ll consistently find us in the forefront of opposition to wars and militarism and simultaneously organizing Earth Day, and educational events like the Edible Columbia Garden Tour and the Sustainable Living Fair. That’s why we’re the folks who offer classes on climate change and sustainable living while we continue to work for an end to the threat of nuclear annihilation and educate the community on the flaws in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Peaceworks is grassroots. We’ve been around for nearly 32 years and we’ve always been volunteer driven, local, rooted here in mid-Missouri. Peaceworks is made up of more than 400 member households and dozens of volunteers who devote their time and talents to our mission to create a brighter, more just, peaceful and sustainable future for all.

KEEP IT LOCAL—LEND YOUR SUPPORT:  As you may know, this November we embarked on an ambitious campaign to raise needed revenue to fund our ongoing work. While very frugal, it takes some money to keep the doors open, the lights on, the educational materials produced, the supplies procured and the small staff paid their modest wages. Given that so much is done by volunteers, your donated dollars go much further in this grassroots operation than they do when contributed to national groups.

While we have been aiming to raise $30,000 in this, the fourth quarter of 2013, to date we have only raised 60 percent of our goal, and there are only a few days left to the year. We are most appreciative of the 187 of you who’ve donated already during this “Keep it Local” drive. Today, there is an urgent need to hear from more of you.

I’d like to ask each of you who hasn’t given, or hasn’t given lately, to please consider how important it is for the mid-Missouri area to have an organization like Peaceworks. And I’d like for you to understand that we can’t do this without more support. It takes a village, as they say, and if you are a villager, please consider kicking in to the village fund.

NUTS & BOLTS OF GIVING:  I’d like to suggest that you consider becoming a member of Peaceworks’ Peace Core. These are our core supporters who donate at the $100 and above level. This could be by making a one-time contribution. Or you can become a sustainer, making a monthly donation of at least $10. It’s really easy to do this using your credit or debit card or via PayPal so you don’t have to write a check monthly or mail it in.

Our basic household membership is just $60 per year, which is only $5 per month, if done as a monthly sustainer. Perhaps you can give much more than this. Our largest contribution so far in this drive has been $1,200. And others have only been able to afford $5 or $10 in total. Support at any level, generously given, is gratefully received.

MY PERSONAL APPEAL:  I’ve had the privilege of working full-time for Peaceworks since 1985. I’ve seen what we can do, as a community, when we come together with a sense of hope and common purpose. I recognize just how sorely we need such a sense of direction at this time.

I believe that Peaceworks and our allies in the struggle for a livable, shared future have a crucial role to play in educating our community. Likewise, an essential part of our mission is recruiting and training activists who can provide leadership and move us forward in the years to come.

If you share my sense of the importance of this work, I really hope you’ll pitch in and do what you can now, giving as generously as you can.

I thank you in advance. Please see below for the ways in which you can make your tax-deductible contribution.

My best wishes to you and yours for a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable year in 2014.

All the best,

Mark Haim
Director, Mid-Missouri Peaceworks

WAYS TO GIVE:  You can give securely on-line at http://blog.midmopeaceworks.org/p/donate-online.html. You can mail your contributions to Peaceworks, 804-C E. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201. You can just stop by the Peace Nook at any time we're open and give in person. You can even phone in your contribution on your credit or debit card (573-875-0539). However you do it, it's most appreciated.