I'm Coming to the International Conference! Aren't You?

June 11, 2013
by Judy Zobel, RESULTS Des Moines, and Joanna Samuelson, RESULTS Columbus

On the June 8 RESULTS International Conference. We hope to see you there with them.

Judy Zobel, Des Moines, IA

Greetings! I’m Judy Zobel and I work as a RESULTS volunteer in Des Moines, Iowa. I’m aware that there are people who go to the RESULTS National Conference every year like clockwork but I’m not one of them. Every year I have to debate it. Do I want to spend the money and time at the Conference and therefore say good bye to vacation plans? What to do to make me happy, happy, happy and yet fulfill my goal to be an activist for those citizens in America who are getting the economic short stick? I have come to a decision and here’s a clue … I have a brand new little Mini Cooper and no longer have to drive with a bottle of oil and a bottle of water in the trunk of my car.

Yep, I’m hitting the road and my destination is the Conference in D.C. But, oh, I’m traveling a selfish little route of my own design. I’m going to a music festival in New York state. I’m going to see an art exhibit that features all of the Wyeths. I’m crossing Gettysburg off my bucket list. I’ve never seen George Washington’s home … check! And I’ll still be at the conference in time for all the great speakers, helpful training sessions, lobbying of our members of Congress, who desperately need to hear from us on the issues we care about!

My conscience is satisfied, my plans are nearly complete, and I’ll see you at the conference (or for breakfast at the Black Cat Cafe in Sharon Springs, New York).

Joanna Samuelson, Columbus, OH

I am thrilled that I will be able to attend the international conference next month. The only other time that I was able to go was eight years ago in 2005. As I recall, some of our speakers that weekend included Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Sherrod Brown and Jim Wallis, the editor of Sojourners. Each of them offered a message that was inspiring and affirming of the anti-hunger advocacy work that all of us do. The workshops that we attended provided us with in depth information about the issues as well as professional training to prepare us for our lobbying visits. And the visits, themselves, were especially eye-opening and empowering. As hundreds of RESULTS volunteers descended upon Capitol Hill, I was better able to appreciate the significant impact that our collective voice has in influencing legislative change on behalf of those whose voices are usually unheard or ignored. It was truly a powerful experience for me — and to think that I almost didn’t go!

At the time, I had three children under the age of seven. I was breastfeeding our youngest around the clock and leaving my family at home in Columbus for five days simply wasn’t an option. And so, I brought them with me — and it worked out beautifully! In those days, my husband and I were learning that long car trips with the kids actually provided us with bonding time as a family, and with each road trip we took, the kids were becoming better travelers. While I participated in the RESULTS activities that weekend, my family had a memorable time taking in the sights of our nation’s capital. I remember that they especially enjoyed the Air and Space Museum as well as the Duck Tour!

Once again, my family will accompany me to the conference next month. Only now, we have FIVE children! Our youngest are twins who are six years old and are very excited to visit DC for the first time. Our oldest is now fifteen and so we are planning to visit a couple of colleges while we are in the area. And I must say that I am very happy that our oldest two are interested in tagging along on some of our lobbying visits.

And so, our family of seven will be there next month. We tend to stand out, so I’m sure you’ll be able to spot us. We hope to see you there!

The RESULTS International Conference is our biggest event of the year for us. Join Judy, Joanna, and the 350 other people already registered this July 20–23 in Washington, DC, for fun, learning, and making a difference. REGISTER TODAY!

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