Marianna Cacciatore, Chief Inspiration Officer
I am the Chief Inspiration Officer of Bread for the Journey and began my work here in 1998. Our Vision is To Nurture the Seed of Generosity in Every Human Heart. In my capacity here, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to meet many generous, good-hearted people who are doing extraordinary things to heal, strengthen and beautify the place they call home. I have come to see that generosity is the way we show our love—whether we’re giving our time, attention, care, money, or any other offering. Generosity is at the core of nearly all we do to live happily and peacefully, whether it’s learning to be brave, patient, forgiving, mindful or whatever. When we become more conscious of this journey, we make great strides in living together more peacefully. Generosity plays a primary, immutable role in how to live well in a shared world.
I believe that one of the necessary requisites to expressing the best of who we are is to have our goodness reflected back to us by the people in our lives and by the media. This is how we humans can accurately see the incredible love and generosity we are already expressing every day for the benefit of humankind—from small acts of kindness to large ones. And when we see it, we strive to live up to it more and more. Unfortunately our current media spends far more time reflecting back to us the worst of our human nature. To do our part to balance that, I host a Bread for the Journey weekly radio show called Ordinary People doing Extraordinary Deeds in which I interview a wide range of creative and generous people who offer their unique perspective and skills to build a world that works for everyone. My guests are inspiring and their stories help us see a brighter side of ourselves.
I also write a blog called Good Your Journey about our inner journey of transformation—what must happen on the inside so that we can grow and learn and live our lives always remembering that love is what matters most and that giving and receiving are the engines for that love. If you believe you can make the world a better place, and being mindful of your inner life is the way, then this blog is for you.
I have spent 30 years working with individuals to improve the quality of life on earth. I am the Founding Executive Director of Bread for the Journey and started my tenure with BFJ in 1998 as it was transforming from a single chapter in Santa Fe, NM to a national organization with the capacity to create affiliate chapters throughout the United States.
Today Bread for the Journey has 26 chapters nationwide, supports 120 volunteers, and has given away nearly $4.5 million dollars.
I am the author of Being There For Someone In Grief, a book containing essential lessons for supporting people grieving from death, loss, and trauma. I consult with organizations regarding grief support programs and speak to audiences worldwide. Having suffered a childhood tragedy, I created a grief center that has brought healing to thousands of people. Today, I serve as a Lifetime Emeritus Board Member of Tu Nidito in Tucson, Arizona, the parent agency for the organization I founded in 1988 called Children to Children, a Center for Children and Families in Grief.
My two careers — one in the field of grief, the other marked by kindness and generosity — found common ground inside my heart. I feel they can be best explained in the words of poet Naomi Nye in her poem, Kindness. “Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing… Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread… ”
You can contact me via email at: email@example.com