Yeah, Blog Action Day is here! The purpose is to create discussions on poverty. My purpose is to give you actions that you can take to address poverty in America .. and yes it does exist. Yes, we are the richest country in the world but we still have poverty and homelessness. We still have children that go to bed hungry, veterans sleeping on our sidewalks, families sleeping in abandoned vehicles and digging through trash for food.
The reasons that people find themselves in extreme poverty and homeless are varied. Substance abuse and mental health issues do play a big part but I wouldn't say that is the only factors at play. What I do know is that there are organizations that are working hard to impact poverty in their communities.
Union Mission in Savannah, GA has been providing shelter for the homeless, helping them with housing assistance, providing healthcare, life skills training, job training and employment assistance for decades. I attended one of their culinary arts programs graduation ceremonies. The graduates were beeming. They had a marketable skill, they were getting jobs and getting on their feet again. Union Mission gave them a hand up and these folks turned their lives around.
Save Our Youth in Denver, Colorado is a youth mentoring agency. They provide mentors to at-risk youth to help keep them in school, off drugs and making good life decisions. Many of them have parents who are incarcerated, are from single parent homes and live in areas where gangs, crime and being a drop out are the norm. The youth they serve are truly at-risk of ending up where Union Mission picks up. While Union Mission is works to get people out of poverty, Save Our Youth is trying to prevent some of the situations that cause people to go into poverty. Both are necessary.
So how does this relate to you? Simple .. you & I may not devote our daily lives to combatting or preventing poverty in America (or abroad) but we can help those that do by making a donation or volunteering. Non-profit organizations rely on donated funds and volunteers to carry out their missions. Your donation, no matter how small, does make a difference. Make a donation to Union Mission, Save Our Youth or a quality agency near you that is working to stamp out poverty. You can do something to impact poverty today... Consider eating-in today, donate what you would spend to a non-profit making a difference, it won't hurt your waistline or your wallet but it just might give some one the hand up they need to turn their life around. If not that at least have a conversation with someone about poverty . We won't be able to end poverty today but by each one of us taking a small step in the right direction we can make a dent.