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Poverty in the United Sates

Incredible image taken by Photographer Ubar Alexanian, Girl being raised by her grandmother in South Carolina, shot for the New York Times Magazine story, Why Is America Failing Its Children Stock ID f987-1-7.

It’s the first day of a new year. 2009. I woke up this morning , the thermometer frozen on four degrees and the wind was howling. As I reached for the thermostat to turn the heat up – it occurred to me. . .

How many people in the U.S. live in poverty and do not have this luxury – the ability to turn up the heat, or have heat at all? Adequate shelter? Quality of life?

Poverty is the deprivation of common necessities such as food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, all of which effect and determine our quality of life.

Poverty may also include the lack of access to opportunities such as education and employment which can aid the escape from poverty.

According to Mollie Orshansky who developed the poverty measurements used by the U.S. government, “to be poor is to be deprived of those goods and services and pleasures which others around us take for granted.”

Household Income Rises, Poverty Rate Unchanged:

These findings are contained in the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007 [PDF]. The data were compiled from information collected in the 2008 Current Population Survey.

My good friend and fellow blogger “Concord Pastor” guest posted for me this morning and in that post he mentioned that another 365 days are about to be dumped in your lap and in mine. . .

How will we measure them?
How will we value them?

Most important of all: How will we spend them?

Will you do anything to help reduce the poverty rate in the United States and world?

Policy-makers and all people of good need to unite and work toward finding effective solutions to this issue. We as Americans need to be more active participants in increasing awareness and developing solutions to reducing poverty.

Here are a few things you can do:

Endorse: Make a public statement that you support the Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America and are committed to taking action.

Learn: Read Twenty things you can do and learn about Poverty USA

Volunteer: Donate your time and talent as a volunteer at a local soup kitchens, shelters, volunteer or donate to charities through your local church.

Educate: become familiar with the issues.

Share: Post a comment on your Blog, spread the word about poverty.

Participate: Take part in local activities, write a letter, attend a local or Capitol Hill briefing, or host a special event.

Donate: Make a donation to support the work of the an anti poverty campaign. There are many organizations public, private as well as church organizations.

I support Catholic Charities USA.
DONATIONS: 1-800-919-9338

Sources: 2008 US Census info. Wikipedia.

~ a concord carpenter

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