Thanks to individuals, congregations and dioceses across The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, Episcopal Relief & Development’s ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE campaign has met its goal of raising $3 million to support children worldwide.
Since the campaign was launched in September 2019, more than 18,000 individuals and 230 churches have donated to it and engaged in acts of love of their own. The majority did so during the COVID-19 pandemic while most people were home and unable to be with others. ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE provided people an opportunity to look outward, help others and work for lasting change from their homes.
“During these one thousand days, we have reached nearly one million children across the world because of this incredible generosity” said Rob Radtke, Episcopal Relief & Development President & CEO. “We know that when we support children, we are also helping their families and communities to thrive.”
Research shows that the first 1,000 days for children are critical in setting a foundation that affects their ability to grow, learn and thrive over their entire lives. Around the world, 155 million children younger than five are not reaching their full potential due to inadequate nutrition and health care. Young children need:
- Nutritious food.
- Clean water.
- A healthy and safe environment in which to grow.
- Access to health care.
Donations to the campaign went towards caring for mothers and newborns, teaching parenting skills, improving food security for young students and expanding access to clean water, to name a few.
Episcopal Relief & Development’s work with international partners has led to better health, improved nutrition, safer sanitation practices and access to clean water for children. The organization has seen dramatic and verifiable increases in all critical indicators of children’s overall health and well-being including in language development, motor skills, social skills and emotional development.
Episcopal Relief & Development’s partners also have been more engaged in the family life of secondary caregivers to ensure that families are supported as they grow in their empowerment. Partners have trained thousands of Early Childhood Development promoters and faith leaders who have made tens of thousands of home visits, some of those visits accomplished via bicycles provided by donations to the campaign.
In addition, the organization’s work with children has increased the ability of its partners and local communities to grow and find abundant life. Together they have supported the start of nearly 20,000 savings groups, helping people, primarily women, earn income and work towards financial stability. Those groups enable millions of dollars in savings that can be used to improve the lives of children, families and communities.
The ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE campaign became so much more than a fundraising opportunity. Throughout these days, Episcopal Relief & Development encouraged acts of love. The organization engaged its domestic partners and friends with complimentary resources for churches and families to use remotely during the height of COVID-19 or in person as we were able to gather safely. These resources were developed in response to the call for ways to foster community in uncertain times. The stories Episcopal Relief & Development received about people helping people, children sharing love with others and simple acts like buying a coffee or calling an old friend have been overwhelming.
This video celebrates the many people who said yes to children and worked together for lasting change.
The ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE campaign will continue through the end of the year as the work is not done. Learn more about ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE or to donate here.
For over 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for close to 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.