Blog Action Day 08 - Poverty

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

This year, I'm participating in Blog Action Day '08. It's a grass roots effort to bring attention to a specific issue through blogs, websites, and podcasts, resulting in a diversity of viewpoints on the single issue of poverty.

Poverty.

That term means different things to different people. I've been "poor," living paycheck to paycheck, knowing that a single disaster or lost job would result in disaster. But I've never lived in poverty.

I've always had enough to eat, even if it was Top Ramen and frozen pizza.

I've always had adequate medical and dental care.

I've always had a roof over my head.

I've always been warm enough.

I've always had family and friends that, if it came to that, would ensure I never went hungry, had to sleep outdoors, went without medical care.

So no, I don't have first hand knowledge of true poverty. Which makes me fortunate indeed. As they say, "There but for the grace of God go I."

For me, that grace means I have a certain responsibility to those who do have first-hand knowledge.

How do I express my responsibility? By knitting cold weather gear for those who can't afford it on their own. By supporting Kiva, a micro-lending organization, both on my own and with a joint account with The Mechanicky Gal, because this help allows people to pull their entire family out of poverty on a sustainable basis. By supporting Modest Needs, a grant organization that helps the working poor meet unexpected expenses, because a single emergency shouldn't result in becoming homeless. By supporting DonorsChoose, an organization that finances low income school districts with specific school projects, because I believe education leads directly to a higher standard of living. By supporting Heifer International, because their programs help entire communities on a sustainable basis.

Is it enough? Probably not. But it's what I can do.



H/T to Jeri.

2 comments:

Ilya said...

I don't do enough, Janiece. You're a role model to me, now.

Janiece Murphy said...

Ilya, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with everything that needs to done.

So I guess you do what you can...