Ahem -- Blog Action Day!
In having a conversation with a friend back east the other day, she made a statement about the working poor. Ir reminded me of the early days of my marriage when we had 7 children under the age of 9 and only one income coming in... Our children didn't go hungry because we had supportive relatives and sympathetic church leaders.
But there are many that do. Many that go to school with a piece of bread to last the whole day, or perhaps nothing at all until dinner. Little children that cry because their stomachs hurt.
Around Thanksgiving, there is always a big push for the foodbanks and homeless shelters. All of which are good, but recently I've noticed that the Scouts do food drives during other times of the year. I'm grateful that someone has thought that the poor need food year round.
The working poor have actual jobs, usually somewhere to live, but income doesn't stretch much past that. They scrape for every cent to try and feed their families. They are proud -- sometimes it's hard for them to take help. They don't feel like they are charity cases. But they don't like to have their children cry either.
This friend was telling me that she teaches a primary class in church. When she tells her church leaders that a child was crying from hunger in class, events are put into motion that ensure the family has food going home with them that day.
Everyone likes to go on about this country or that country needing our help -- usually showing pictures of starving children. Many people have no idea of the need here in the states, especially during these hard economic times. The price of food has gone up, making it even more difficult for these people to get what they need.
You have starving children in America that cannot get aid those across the ocean do. They are families that don't want handouts, so they don't get food stamps. Food stamps also have income restrictions, and take a lot of time to work with. Sometimes these people don't have that time. They are families that don't have extended family or anyone around who can help them. Perhaps they have been forced to move due to loosing their home, or a job -- how many people lost jobs last year due to the car industry? Too many to contemplate.
So on this day of thinking beyond ourselves and our needs, let's remember our neighbor. Our fellow citizens. Our working poor.
Is there a charity in your town or neighborhood that you can contribute to? Do you know a family that is struggling in this way? If so, take some time today and do something for them that will ease their load. A plate of cookies would be nice, but a couple cans of food would last longer and be healthier. Why not both? A couple of loaves of bread...a couple jars of peanut butter and jam...a case of macaroni and cheese.
Produce from your garden.
All of us have things we can share. We just need to see the need and be willing to give. There are many who need it.