Poverty Where it’s Least Expected
Poverty. It’s a growing problem. With a minimal number of jobs, an economy that can’t get its act together, and some political unrest worldwide, the world just isn’t a fun place to be right now. We’ve all heard of poverty overseas; we’ve been inundated with images of starving children and dilapidated homes on TV. World poverty is a huge issue, and we should be working to solve it as best we can.
It’s odd where poverty shows up in our country as well. Note: the word “poverty” is relative. Much of the poverty that we experience in the United States is nothing compared to what is going on in developing countries. But, it still affects us, and therefore, it is important to talk about.
Until recently, much of the poverty war was fought in urban settings. Food banks, homeless shelters, and other organizations that help the impoverished were usually located downtown, in the “bad parts” of the cities, near government funded housing and “the Projects.” I hate throwing out all those stereotypes, but that’s how a lot of people see these things.
A few years ago, people started to focus more on those on the outskirts. Rural poverty came to the forefront, and people started to create ways to help those who were struggling to get by in the country. Farm families, the elderly, and those in small-town communities started to get help. There was a food bank in the small town that I went to college in; and the population of that town was no more than 6,000 people.
Now, poverty’s effects have shifted again, and I think it’s gotten to a point where it truly affects everyone. Suburbia, the place where people with 6 figure incomes and fancy cars live, has started to get slammed by the economy as well. Those who used to donate to organizations that help the impoverished are now looking to those same organizations to help them get their basic needs.
Because of this influx, food banks are struggling to meet all the needs. Organizations that help the poor can’t get funding. What can we do to help out?
- Give what you can. Yes, even if “what you can” is a couple of extra cans of vegetables at the end of the month, or a couple of dollars into the offering at your church. Every little bit helps in this kind of economic climate.
- Volunteer. If you don’t have the means in terms of finances, then give your time. Help organize donations at your local food bank or thrift store. Clean up or help serve meals at the homeless shelter. If you can’t use your cash, use your hands.
- Help out individuals. Do you know someone in need? Invite them over for dinner, give them a little extra cash, ask them to help you with house things and pay them for it. Each individual that can be helped by friends and family is one less person that is struggling.
Have a great day, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow. Until then, spend smart, save smart!