Testimonials From Advocates Who Have Done 25 in Change

“What I think makes 25 in Change so different is that it’s not about charity, it is a social justice movement. Why it is so radical and why I would recommend it to anyone else is because the model itself is so radical: It really forces you to think about how you live, the choices that you make, and the impact those have on a global scale. It’s not just asking people for money, but rather asking people to be invested in the choices that they make… 25 in Change is a radical exercise in empathy!”

Sarah Hidey

Advocate, DCC

“It was a very challenging experience, but one that was so worth it, because every time I sat down to eat a meal I realized that 100 kids were eating it with me. Every time I realized that, I remembered how much it was worth it to give up some simple things like the foods we’re used to eating, and to instead eat just rice and beans….It’s a really great feeling to know that 300,000 children will eat because of the simple things that we did, but it feels good to know that God used it to change me.” Amanda Lum

Advocate, DCC

“If you’re kind of on the fringe and looking for something to do, and really make a difference in the world, but also make a difference to yourself and understand the issues at a deeply personal level, I would highly recommend this.” Chip Parish

Advocate, DCC

“I feel like I connected with people in a different part of the world that I never thought I would connect with until I was in Africa. It was really cool to be in Denver experiencing that type of empathy. It was really powerful, and I know from my Partners telling me, it was powerful for them too. 25 in Change allows an ordinary person to make a small commitment for a limited period of time, to do something really huge and that’s very powerful.” Elaine Epperson

Advocate, CCPC

“I think a lot of times what we want to do is just jump right in and fix the problem (and we don’t understand it). This particular type of advocacy helps develop empathy. When you’re hungry and you don’t know where your food is going to come from, it helps you to understand—on a very small scale!—what hungry people go through every day. I would recommend this to people who are passionate about hunger and see how they are stronger than they think they are.”

Libby Wachter

Advocate, DCC

“I came into this really desiring to have a change in my life, and that has definitely happened. It’s been really difficult, not so much the food during 25 in Change, but the pushback we have had from people with the no-fast-food-thing. That’s been really interesting and difficult….I would definitely recommend this type of Advocacy to others, but I would not sugar coat it: It’s very difficult. You’re not only dealing with the changes in your own body (dealing with hunger), but you’re also dealing with people and trying to Advocate for others.” Liz Guille

Advocate, CCPC

“25 in Change has changed my life. It changed the way I look at food, look at food globally; it changed my interest in wanting to understand food on a global scale—from the very beginning in the demands that we create as a society and how that affects our food production all the way to how I eventually consume it….for anyone whose willing to, or has a deep passion for seeing the world changed, I would give a huge recommendation for this.” Kenn Kelly

Advocate, Pathways

“I would recommend this to people looking for opportunities to have life changing experiences—this is an experience that is going to challenge them to really be authentic and transparent with who they are and what they stand for. If that’s you, this is a no brainer.” Chris White

Advocate, Pathways

“For Advocates, 25 in Change will completely change your entire perspective, your life, and everything that you do….I would absolutely recommend this to everyone. This will change your life.” Minde Smyth

Advocate, Pathways

“25 in Change made me realize that, It’s not about me, and that I’m part of a much larger system—a global system—where my decisions can change things in the world. It has made me change how I think about food, and how I think about the decisions I make for myself, my family, and my children….I think I’m going to be a better citizen of this world after this.” Laurel Messer

Advocate, Pathways

“I had someone email me–someone I didn’t even know–but someone at work sent out an email (about 25 in Change), and a person sent me an email about a conversation she had with her son. Her son was six years old and asked her, “Are there starving children in Africa?” She replied that “Yeah, there are.” He ended up saving his money and donated it to 25 in Change. 25 in Change gives you a totally different appreciation for food, for how you eat, how blessed you are for getting to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and however much you want! It leaves you with a totally different appreciation for food, and that is a totally life changing experience.” Andrea Bucci

Advocate, Pathways

“It takes a lot of initiative to do this and requires a lot of conversations with people–so for me it was an outward process that was difficult, but also very enjoyable to do. I would recommend this to others if it’s something you’re passionate about; it’s definitely an avenue to make great change!”

Shari Slaughter

Advocate, CCPC

“I would both recommend and not recommend this to others. It sucks eating only rice and beans for 25 days. It is torture. But at the same time, you have to go through this personally in order to really get that full effect. To realize what so many kids go through every day being fed only school meals, is what has affected me the most. To future Advocates I would say that you need to experience this for yourself in order to really understand what’s going on in this world and that we seriously need to make a change.” Amy Nelson

Advocate, Pathways

“I would definitely recommend this to someone else. It’s a process that takes an issue that can feel very distancing and very alien, and makes it very personal. It’s easy to think that there are starving kids in Africa, but once you see that food on your plate, you begin to change consumption cycles, and to imagine what it would be like to go to schools malnourished… participating in 25 in Change is so crucial in understanding that.” Claire Bowman

Advocate, DCC

“25 in Change is about action rather than talking. It is about putting yourself on a different level by serving others by being in solidarity with them. A lot of the time we like to separate ourselves from problems in the world, and this program puts you right into the messiness and the hardship of it. Overall, it was a wonderful and transformative experience for me.”

Claire Rader

Advocate, DCC

“I would describe this as something that will push you to your limits, not just physically with the rice and beans, but also emotionally and spiritually as you begin to internalize it. The small action of us eating rice and beans, and the small action of our Partners giving up fast food and instead giving $25, has resulted in a really monumental achievement.”

Lindsey Meyers

Advocate, DCC

“25 in Change was a challenge, some days were easier than others, some days were harder, but every day you’re a lot more aware of the fact that you’re fighting this battle with other people and the community aspect makes a big difference….At the same time, it was really rewarding knowing that you’re also providing meals for hungry children– not just meals, but also opportunities for education; opportunities for girls in these countries, and that you’re working toward something that’s really making a difference in a sustainable way….I would recommend 25 in Change if you’re looking to be a voice for people who don’t have the ability to speak up and fight for themselves.”

Liz Bureman

Advocate, DCC

“I would definitely recommend this to others, because of what we learned about ourselves, about God, and about God’s provision for us. That there is more out there than just ourselves…..There is no way to gain this type of empathy without going through this. Even though I had a fridge full of food (I could have opened it at any time), I still felt that anxiousness from food insecurity (am I going to eat the next day?). In hindsight, I was building memories that will stay with me forever and change how I act, and hopefully  allow me to have more empathy for other people and more compassion for helping others in need.”

Marsha DeMaria

Advocate, DCC

“The most interesting part of 25 in Change for me has been learning how to become an Advocate for the marginalized. There is a wild paradox in play when you speak up for the forgotten and oppressed, but you also realize you have to get out of God’s way to do it. I’ve learned that advocacy is not taking on the sole responsibility and weight of caring about others; as if somehow I don’t do this, it won’t get done. Instead, it is a lifestyle of recognizing that Jesus is already advocating for the forgotten and oppressed by being among them, and that we are called to join him in those relationships.  25 in Change has produced a fundamental shift in my lifestyle from being a social activist (caring about causes) to becoming an advocate for people.”

Andre Roux

Advocate, Pathways

“I would absolutely recommend this to others, but not more than once. It is a life changing experience that opens your eyes about how you deal with food and how you perceive the balance of food across the world.” Steve Bailey

Advocate, CCPC

“My roommate Brandi gave you up fast food as one of my very first partners, and she has talked about how much better she feels and how much more capable she is of communicating what she wants to do for God. I would not recommend 25 in Change to anyone who does not want their world rocked.” Kathryn Horton

Advocate, Pathways

“As Americans we live a pretty sheltered life, both locally and globally. If we don’t want to see homeless people we take a different street, if we don’t want to see what’s going on in developing countries we turn the TV off, but with 25 in Change it’s bringing an awareness to everybody that there is an issue and we need to face it. I would absolutely recommend this experience to someone else.” Karol Bowers

Advocate, Pathways

“It’s a life changing experience…I have a lot more compassion now. Even with what I eat, I try to not waste anything. I would absolutely recommend this process to someone else. It is life changing. It was really hard, but it was amazing.” Kelly Gregory

Advocate, Pathways

“25 in Change is hard. It is definitely a challenge, but for anyone looking for their world to be rocked, or anyone who wants a new outlook on life, I definitely recommend it. But don’t go into this thinking that it is going to be a piece of cake, or nothing will change, because there isn’t one thing that hasn’t changed about my life. It’s definitely a life changer.”

Logan Taylor

Advocate, Pathways

“This type of advocacy, is not just about throwing money at a solution—because as we’ve seen; that just doesn’t work. This is something that asks for real change. Real change on either side of the spectrum. It’s a way of saying that we need to look at part A and part B in order to find a solution to the equation.”

Caitlyn Moses

Advocate, DCC

“I would recommend this to others on both levels. I would recommend this for people to become Partners, who for whatever reason don’t want to become Advocates, and I would certainly recommend that people think seriously about becoming an Advocate. It does get your attention and will focus you on a problem, like world hunger, that is very solvable.” Doug Burtt

Advocate, CCPC

“I would definitely recommend 25 in Change. It is a journey that one can never do outside of fasting and sacrificing the self from food because our culture is run rampant by food (by whenever and however you want to eat).” Julia Schmidt

Advocate, CCPC

“I went into this thinking I was making a big sacrifice eating just rice and beans, but not realizing that ultimately each time I ate, it represented such a huge gift for children in the world—who are like my own children (the same ages). I realized that it was truly a privilege to put myself out there; to be embarrassed, to feel ashamed at times to having to respond to misinformation. It was still a privilege to do something that was so simple, yet so challenging, that had such great rewards to it.”

Jamie Osborne

Advocate, CCPC

“25 in Change was a huge learning experience. It taught me about myself, the people and world around me….It was rough, it was real, it was life changing. There is a difference in what you know in life and what you understand. I’m not saying going through this allows you to understand what hungry children are going through, but it teaches you a lot more about the situation than if you just statistically knew what was going on.”

Sarah Caulkins

Advocate, DCC

“Before you sign up for this, make sure you’re ready. This is a very difficult thing to do. I would recommend 25 in Change, but there were a few times during this process where I wanted to quit…but I would definitely recommend this to future Advocates. It’s a really great thing for yourself and others.” Nicole Henry

Advocate, Pathways

“I had a lot of really great supporters who sent me encouraging messages on facebook, they called and texted me, and it was a lot people that I didn’t really expect. That was a huge support for me….I would definitely recommend 25 in Change. It’s definitely hard and big challenge, but its something that’s really life changing.” Leah Stephens

Advocate, Pathways

“I had a vast array of feelings during 25 in Change. Anything from excited and humbled to be a part of this experience to feeling angry, confused, and guilty. With this experience all of our comforts have been essentially stripped from us so we don’t have anything to dull our senses….know that this will change you. It’s a difficult process, but it’s well worth it.”

Megan Flotten

Advocate, Pathways

“On day 7 I had a really hard time eating anything. Rice and beans smelled awful. The idea of needing to eat more of it sounded awful. Being hungry sounded like a much better idea than eating anything at all. I was really wondering if I would make it through all 25 days. So that day I took a long walk, listened to some music, and talked to God, in a way that I had never talked to him before, to try to figure out how I was going to make it through the next days. It was good; it was one of those walks that change your life! So while the rice and beans didn’t taste any better when I came back, I was mentally in a different place so I could handle the challenge. One a scale of 1-10, this has been a 10. Hands down. There isn’t anything about this event that hasn’t changed some part of my life. I would definitely recommend 25 in Change to someone else.” Jenny Usaj

Advocate, Pathways

“Two of my co-workers decided to eat rice and beans with me every day at lunch, so that I wasn’t quite so isolated. I was having to eat alone every day since no one was eating what I was eating (and everyone tends to go out for lunch). It was nice to have comfort in my lunch buddies. I would recommend 25 in Change to others, it really breaks you down at some points, but it breaks you down to build you up into a stronger person, so I absolutely would recommend it.” Lauren Bell

Advocate, Pathways

“I got involved with this, because I was sick and tired of always expecting other people to be the change I wanted to see in the world. When the opportunity presented itself to be involved, I was grateful to accept it and be a part of it. I’m really happy I did it, because it has changed the way I eat, think, and live.” Ben Klecker

Advocate, Pathways

“I would greatly encourage people to advocate with 25 in Change. It moves you from just knowing facts, and knowing about the problems in the world, to actually joining people who face those problems, and aligning yourself with them. It’s a way to really bring change, and to say that it’s not enough just to give money but you have to be the change yourself.”

Jenni Mead

Advocate, DCC