I left the house bleary-eyed at 6:00 a.m. yesterday morning to catch a flight to Dallas to address the employees of jcpenney, one of the great corporate champions in the fight to end childhood hunger. Nothing unusual about that for me except that I don’t usually stay up until 1:00 a.m. watching election returns beforehand. Relative to the drama of a six billion dollar, two year battle to select a president, such a trip could seem of minor importance in the scheme of things. But I set the alarm for 5:15 a.m. feeling just the opposite, not only about this trip, but about all of the activities of Share Our Strength.
About half the country woke up Wednesday morning feeling relieved and half woke up disappointed. But nearly all voted yesterday with the hope that as divided as we may be politically, our leadership will find a way to transcend politics and achieve measurable outcomes that change people’s lives for the better.
That is the business we are in. And as real as the political division may be – there is no escaping the fact that we can’t have a strong America with weak children.
Democrats and Republicans can win with or without us. But if they want to do more than win, if they want to create the legacy of a generation that is healthier, smarter, stronger, and more able to compete in the global economy, then they desperately need Share Our Strength and our many partners across the country to succeed, to move our work closer to the center of the national agenda, and to double down on the amazing outcomes we are seeing so far where we have invested in No Kid Hungry.
The candidates can finally stop getting on planes, raising money, organizing events, strengthening state field operations, and sending e-mails. We cannot. Something even more important than an election is at stake.
At least that’s what I told Rosemary when she gave me a look as the alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. (But I really believe it too!)