Support the Bera Bray Trust for World Hunger
One Mother. One Daughter. Millions Served.
The late 1920s ushered in a period of despair, the likes of which most Americans had never experienced. It was the beginning of the Great Depression, a time of astronomical unemployment, household debt, poverty, and unimaginable fear. It was into this world that Mrs. Bera Bray Hardy was born. The eldest of three girls, Mrs. Hardy reflects back to that period in her life with difficulty. Even as a child, she knew that her family was poor. However, it wasn’t until she was ten that she discovered just how poor they really were. Hardy's father seemed to go from one failed financial venture to another.
I knew by the age of 10 that we were poor. We lived in town. And it seemed to me that everybody else had more than we did.
Life seemed to hit its lowest point for the Bray family when Hardy’s father filed for bankruptcy, losing everything they owned except a few pieces of furniture. Many who knew the family tried to help as much as possible. After this, Mr. Bray moved the family from North Wilkesboro, North Carolina to Gainesville, Georgia, where he took employment at a local mill. The new position caused him to be on the road nearly every day of the week except for Sundays. Unfortunately, the result of Mr. Bray’s financial decisions and his bankruptcy left a lot of bitterness in young Hardy. “It took me years to forgive him for being a poor money manager,” she tells. "But, I knew if I wanted to be forgiven, I had to forgive him." Even in poverty, her mother’s resourcefulness meant the family always had three meals a day.
Mrs. Hardy recalls that many years later she discovered it was her mother who actually had the money sense. This financial aptitude and a desire to help those in need—as her own family had received—inspired Mrs. Bray to do something extraordinary. Nearly twenty years after the death of her husband, Mrs. Bray decided to move to Baptist Village in Waycross, Georgia. At the time, she only owned one thing of value, her wedding ring. She did not want to take the ring with her for fear of something happening to it.
Instead, Mrs. Bray and two of her daughters decided to have the ring appraised. The appraisal came to roughly $1000. After selling the ring, Mrs. Bray and her daughter Bera Hardy met with a Donald Folsom from the Georgia Baptist Foundation. Mrs. Bray felt very deeply that, just as we all need spiritual food, there were so many around the world who also needed physical food.
I was reading in James, and he says "faith without works is not much faith."
Dr. Folsom gave Mrs. Bray several options through which the proceeds from the ring could support world hunger relief. On Oct. 23, 1983, just a few years before her passing, “The Bera Bray Trust for World Hunger” was established.
Luke 21:1-4 reminds us of the widow who gave all she had to see the work of God continue. Like the widow in the Gospel of Luke, Mrs. Bray wanted to leave all she had to be used in a way that glorified God and helped those in need. Now, nearly 30 years after her passing, The Bera Bray Trust Fund for World Hunger continues to feed millions around the world both physically and spiritually.
Will you help fight to end world hunger today? Your gift will make a global impact on the nearly 820 million people who do not have enough to eat.