Poverty at Home
Imagine a country that is known for its riches. Imagine a country that has it all. Imagine a country that has 35.9 million people secretly living in poverty (Siddiqi). We as Americans do not have to imagine this country but simply walk outside and look around. While most of us live our happy and careless lives, others are suffering from poverty. In 2008 10.3% of American families were living in poverty and the numbers keep dropping (Hunger and Poverty Statistics). Due to the sinking economy, America faces afflictions today like never before. Families are removed from their houses due to foreclosures, and unfortunately one in every 50 children in America is homeless each year (Report: 1 in 50 U.S. children face homelessness). So what can we do to stop this tragedy that has crept in our country like a deathly plague? There are several options that we as Americans can take.
Poverty not only takes a persons money, but there belongings too. One way to give back to those who have lost so much due to poverty is by giving your old clothes to shelters or those in need. We as a country should stop worrying about what other countries are doing but focus on what is wrong at home. Whenever we have old toys, cars, or items that we do not want, we should donate them and refrain from throwing them away (Graham). The Bible states in Proverbs 28:27 that, “Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed”. When Christ was on Earth he taught to give to the poor and to never cast them out, however America has done the opposite of that. I believe that we have become so spoiled we take what we have for granted and forget about those who have nothing. How long can we sit and watch people beg on the side of the road and die because they couldn’t afford anything to eat or drink? History Learning Site website quotes Martin Luther King Jr. saying, “The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.” We must stop ignoring the poor and the suffering and help the ones who need help.
One of the worst factors of being poor is not having a sufficient amount of food. One way to help give those who suffer from poverty food is by not throwing away food that we do not want anymore. Even I order too much food at restaurants or cook too much food for dinner sometimes and end up throwing the extras away. Instead of throwing away good food, we can donate our food to the poor or drive around and give food to the homeless. Statistics show that between five and six hundred thousand people are on the street homeless each night, and most of them endure pain from hunger (How many are homeless in America). Not only can we give away food but we can also give to those who need by volunteering at food pantries, drives, and other events that give to the poor. Our country needs to pull together in this time of need and helped each other out.
Around this time last year my dad was laid off from a high paying job that he had for twenty two years. He is back working now, but unfortunately many aren’t as lucky as he was. Many families are becoming poor due to layoffs, causing them to give up their home because of unpaid bills. Because families are being thrown on the streets it is our job as fellow Americans to find them work, and a place to stay. Among these families that become homeless and poor, the most common is a situation with a mother and one or two children (How many are homeless in America). If we can’t find work, homes, food, or money for those hurting from poverty, then the least we can do is show them love and care. Along with showing love and care, prayer is also needed. America needs to come to each others aid, and pray for each other.
We as Americans see homeless people and those in poverty as dirty and dangerous. We don’t open our eyes and see what people are like on the inside but judge them based on their appearance. Some of the nicest people I have ever met were eating in a homeless kitchen, or watching a service at the Water Front Rescue Mission. If we give these people a chance then maybe it will give them hope and happiness. America today is not what it should be. Times are tough and money is short; people are losing jobs, houses, and loved ones. We must take a stand and donate all we can for these people. We must volunteer and give time and prayer to those who need it most. Imagine a country that changed the world, starting in their own backyard. Imagine a country that had no homeless people, and no citizens living under poverty. We as Americans can work together and make this imagination come true.
How many are homeless in America?. Retrieved December 8, 2009, from Word Press website: http://cflhomeless.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/how-many-are-homeless-in-america/.
Hunger and Poverty Statistics. Retrieved December 8, 2009, from Feeding America website: http://feedingamerica.org/faces-of-hunger/hunger-101/hunger-and-poverty-statistics.aspx.
King, Martin Luther. Famous Quotes. Retrieved December 8, 2009, from History Learning Site website: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/mlk1.htm.
Report: 1 in 50 U.S. children face homelessness. Retrieved December 8, 2009, from CNN website: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/10/homeless.children/index.html.
Siddiqi, Samana. Statistics on poverty & food wastage in America. Retrieved December 8, 2009, from Sound Vision website: http://www.soundvision.com/Info/poor/statistics.asp.