In February 2017, Wade Mays, of SoSA’s Big Island, Virginia office, traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to attend a national meeting of the United Methodist Men. Each year, Mays honors the top fund-raisers for the “Meals for Millions” program and also presents a “Bud the Spud” award to the region with the largest increase in giving.
In 2016, the most money for the hunger-relief program was raised by the men’s group in the Northern Illinois Annual Conference (regional area) of The United Methodist Church. Mays presented the award to George Groves to bring back to Northern Illinois. The award also went to Steve Nailor of the Rockford District of that conference, which raised almost $14,000. Nailor is also president of the national organization.
He presented the Bud the Spud award to the Missouri Annual Conference. The money raised goes to the Meals for Millions program, which was created in 1998, when the Society of St. Andrew partnered with the General Commission on United Methodist Men and the National Association of Conference Presidents of United Methodist Men. The program supports the hunger-relief work of The Society of St. Andrew.
The partnership also supports the “Hunger Relief Advocate Initiative,” in which some members of United Methodist Men serve as promote the partnership and serve as fund-raising advocates, and some actually work with volunteers in the fields to glean and to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to people-in-need in their areas.
Here are the top fund-raisers for 2016:
- Northern Illinois $21,255
- Virginia $18,464
- Baltimore-Washington $12,475
- Detroit $11,880
- Missouri $8,780 (won the “Bud the Spud Award with a 94% increase in giving from 2015 to 2016)
- Indiana $8,745
- Upper New York $7,971
- Susquehanna $5,419
- North Carolina $4,670
- Illinois Great Rivers $3,895
* Photo and information from the United Methodist Men website: gcumm.org