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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day - Poverty


Today thousands of bloggers are joining the call to action to raise awareness about poverty. Thankfully, I have been blessed and never have had to deal with wondering where my next meal is coming from or if the roof of my home will keep the rain out or worry about suffocating in my shack because my makeshift oven is proliferating the air with noxious fumes. But these are sights that I have seen upclose and personal. When I lived in South Africa there were many times that I was confronted by the abject poverty that people lived in. And even more powerful was the great divide between the haves and have nots. At one point I lived a mere 2 miles from one of the worst townships in Johannesburg and when I started working in a posh suburb I had to travel through the township to get to work.

There are many stories of international poverty and I am sure the images are clear in your mind -starving children, shacks in shanty towns but I want to focus on poverty here in the United States. Did you know that poverty breeds poverty and the cycle can be never ending unless intervention takes place? Time and time again we hear of people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and encouraging others to do the same but what if you don't own a pair of boots?

In my opinion education is key for those individuals living in poverty. But many times the school systems in improverished areas are stymied by the lack of funds to support a worthwhile education. Perhaps the support system does not exist. As an AmeriCorp volunteer in one of the worst public schools in Atlanta I heard the voices of children that were more concerned about survival than their education. One time the school was on lockdown because an armed group of teens were outside of the school waiting to harm one of my female students.

There are many programs that are working on poverty and education in the United States. There are a couple Reach Out and Read - an early literacy program where pediatricians "prescribe a book" and the Donors Choose for Public School Education that I am personally involved in.

Today I compel you to think about poverty and how you might make a difference. Perhaps you will donate to My Bloggers Challenge for Public Education - I chose the 3 programs in the Atlanta Public School system that were in the most impoverished areas. Perhaps you can donate time or money to programs like Reach Out and Read. You could also simply write a post today about poverty.

Of course there are numerous other options and you can find something that resonates with you. But please, do something! The children living in poverty here in the United States are depending on you.







15 comments:

Kelly said...

Great post. I love what you do for Atlanta Public Schools - such an important issue!

Luxe Tips said...

Great post Renee. I do my absolute best to give back and help those in poverty. I volunteer for Dress for Success and a variety of other programs through the Junior League of Atlanta. If we all did our part to give back, we could seriously end poverty.

Thanks for this post!

Carrie said...

You are just wonderful! I love to get involved in causes that make a difference. I have to confess that since having children I have become an activist slacker. (Not sure that is the correct term) but I am yet again inspired by you.

Ms. Bar B: said...

I have to echo the previous comments. Great Post! Poverty is such a big problem in this country and there are many different factors that play into it. Education is definitely a big one. To obtain quality education in some areas is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. I admire all people living in poverty and who have risen above it because there are no people in the world who fight harder than these folks... believe me, I know.

Like Carrie, due to being in my own world I have been an activist slacker, neglecting to spend time at my former high school doing outreach and serving as an example of what is possible. I am looking forward to getting back in the action once these stressful days of mind die down a bit.

I commend you Renee!

Jamie said...

You are always so up on ways to be involved - thanks for the info, once again!

SuZ said...

Thank you for sharing this info.

The Posh Parent said...

you are awesome! thanks for sharing this important info!

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Thanks for consistently making philanthropy a household word. There was a time when I didn't think donating an old purse, pair of shoes, handbag could *really* make a difference and it all does make a tremendous dofferent. Thanks for reminding us that the big picture is made up of many small ones.

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

Hi Renee! I have been out of the reading and commenting world lately. It is good to jump back in and read your blog. I knew you'd have a meaningful post--especially today. And, I love that you are focusing on literacy and education. Awesome choices!

Also... is it just me, was I away too long, or did your blog get a makeover??? I love it. Can't wait to hear more about your Disney trip! From your tweets and smile, sounds like it was AMAZING!

Well... just wanted to stop by and say hi! So glad I did.

Christy said...

How do you guys find out about this stuff???!

fly tie said...

i admire your kind, compassionate, and giving spirit. the subject of poverty always moves me.

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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