MY ONE CENT: RICHARD SHERES

"Foreign assistance provides stability. Stable societies tend not to go to war."

08/07/2017

Richard Sheres is an author and an advocate for CARE. He lives in D.C. where he could choose to invest his time in any number of humanitarian or political causes, so we just had to ask: Why Do You Advocate for Foreign Assistance with CARE? Here’s Richard’s story:

I grew up in a household with strong women and it never seemed fair that women should have limited opportunities. It seemed important from the standpoint of equal justice, but it also just seemed like a terrible waste of human potential. The world has enough problems to cope with without having them solved by only half of humanity. Even worse, sometimes, it’s the wrong half, at least in my opinion.

I came to CARE after supporting, in a limited way, other organizations that focused on women because CARE blended several important things. The work CARE does is critical. It helps people who otherwise have no opportunities and does so primarily by providing opportunities for women. That’s an operating policy I completely agree with.

When people from an overseas post with CARE talk about the poverty issues their country is dealing with; I’ve probably been to that country and have a pretty good understanding of their situation. I also have a pretty good understanding of how the U.S. government works and more specifically, how the foreign affairs and defense agencies work. My background brings context to my advocacy and makes me appreciate the critical work CARE does.

Sometimes it feels like when you wake up in the morning, everyone is just trying to butt heads with a huge, impenetrable object. But CARE makes steady progress and they do good work. However many people they succeed in helping, is worth it. Foreign assistance provides stability. Stable societies tend not to go to war. Instability that isn’t addressed by peaceful means often turn into military conflicts. We have to use all the tools and do everything we know will bring stability to unstable areas. They’re simple things, though not necessarily easy things. Educating someone where the education infrastructure doesn’t exist is not easy.

You can save a lot of money in your defense budget if you have a world that simply functions better, where people are generally happier and see hope in their lives; where they have the basics, like healthcare and opportunities for education.

At the end of the day, you want to do things in your life that are meaningful and CARE is that kind of opportunity. It gives one the ability to really get in on the most basic elements of people’s lives, to help them and offer hope for the future. Hope, for many people right now, is beyond anything they can think about and CARE gives them that. That’s why I CARE.

My One Cent is a new series that highlights the people who make CARE’s work possible. We want to know why people care about foreign assistance, why they share their time and talents with CARE and what leadership really looks like. Not surprisingly, people were eager to share their two cents, but since foreign assistance adds up to only one penny on the federal dollar, and we didn't want to be greedy, we're asking our supporters and advocates simply share ONE cent. Listen to their voices and find out why so many people CARE, and join us too (if you haven’t already)!