Austin and Ginny Hunt, founders of United Against Poverty (formerly Harvest Food & Outreach Center), were awarded with the “Book of Golden Deeds” Award from the Exchange Club of Vero Beach at their June 20, 2017 meeting. The award recognizes dedicated volunteers who give endless hours of their time and talents toward making their communities better places to live.
“We founded United Against Poverty based on the great commandment to love people the way that we would want to be loved and this basic principal continues within the organization to this day,” commented Austin Hunt, United Against Poverty Founder/CEO. “We are truly honored to accept this award on behalf of the countless volunteers, board members and staff that consider their work to be a calling and who have formed the organization to be what it is today.”
After accepting the award, the Hunts shared the seven guiding principals that led them to establish United Against Poverty and that continue to steer the organization after 14 years:
1) Dignity comes from a sense of self-worth, and that self-worth, though sometimes lost, can be restored.
2) People are not defined by their current circumstances. If given the opportunity, people can fulfill their dreams and their destinies.
3) Working for what we receive in life is the pathway to a truly rewarding and productive life. Living in poverty and living off the system is no way to live at all and is only an endless cycle with no lasting benefit for the giver or the receiver.
4) Serving is the highest and best expression of our humanity. God has created us with this capacity and for this purpose, and we can never be completely fulfilled until we do it.
5) Some forms of charity can have an enduring effect on people’s lives while others can actually be detrimental. Providing necessities for a person in need can only address his survival, but providing a person with longer-term solutions can truly transform a life. This truth has often been conveyed through the statement, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
6) There is nothing inherently wrong with needing and accepting help. It is through receiving that we are able to give.
7) It is our mandate as stewards of God’s creation to love and serve one another because every person is uniquely and wonderfully made and is of infinite value.
United Against Poverty is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2003 by Austin and Ginny Hunt. The purpose of United Against Poverty is “to inspire and empower those living in poverty to lift themselves and their families to economic self-sufficiency”. For more information visit upirc.org or call 772-770-0740.