Through these experiences, I developed a passion for Good Shepherd’s mission of supporting women and children experiencing violence, neglect, and poverty. I became a Good Shepherd Volunteer (GSV) because of the community’s dedication to this mission and for the opportunity to center my life around what really matters by living in simplicity, prayer, and community.
Through GSV, I have the opportunity to volunteer at NAC, which carries out the Good Shepherd mission through national advocacy. I came to NAC because I wanted to make a difference. Now, two months in, I already have the strong sense that I’m part of something bigger than myself.
Before I began my year of service, staying at home and socially distancing during the pandemic made me feel as though I was being forced to stand still, even in the face of devastating social problems and political turbulence. But at NAC and in the larger DC advocacy community, I’ve found a creative and dedicated group of people who have not slowed down at all. With operations shifted online, advocates work tirelessly to enact change through virtual Congressional visits, coalition meetings, panels, and conferences.
It has been empowering to learn how much can be done not only from an advocacy office, but as an individual as well. Now more than ever, anyone can engage in meaningful advocacy by getting involved online, sharing information, and contacting their legislators.
With this widespread loss of income, millions of tenants in the U.S. are unable to pay rent. Many renters still have no emergency financial assistance and will be debt burdened by back rent, penalties and interest when the national moratorium on evictions expires at the end of the year. Millions of Americans may be pushed out of their homes with nowhere to go.
With the livelihood of so many people at stake, it’s easy to get discouraged by the seemingly never ending negotiations and political games that have defined our government’s response to the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.
However, in just the short time that I’ve been with NAC so far, I’ve learned that there’s power in continuing to speak up and advocate for just laws that address basic human needs. I’ve had the opportunity to meet self-advocates and direct service providers who work in various fields, many of whom have emphasized the importance of advocacy. Learning about their on-the-ground work, I always ask the question - what can be done to help? Their answer is almost always the same: contact your legislators. Each person’s participation in advocacy is meaningful and has an impact.
Bearing this in mind, here at NAC we are responding to the impending eviction crisis by pushing Congress to pass $100 billion in rental assistance. Join us by clicking here to use our quick and easy advocacy tool to contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to respond to the rising need for financial assistance. Each of us has the power to take action to keep our neighbors safe, housed, and secure.
Through advocacy, we can raise our voices to bring attention to the true suffering and instability that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and work towards a solution.