Today is Blog Action Day, where bloggers across the world agree to take one day and blog about a specific topic. This year’s topic is Poverty.
Even though I am currently out of work, I realize that I am far from poverty. This leaves me to be able to focus on things like productivity and voluntary simplicity. But especially in this economic climate, there are many who don’t have that luxury. Poverty is not just in third-world countries. Poverty is right here at home.
So while it would be nice to solve poverty on a world level, most of us don’t have the power to make changes at that level. So rather than giving up on the issue, we must do what we can. Every one of us can fight poverty at a local level.
When I started thinking about what people can do at a local level, I began to realize that the opportunities are there, if you know where to look.
In my community, we have two notable programs that can use hands every day. I can access both through my church, but they are open to community-wide action.
N.E.S.T (Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team) was formed at our church. It takes the unused church social hall and allows homeless people to get a hot meal and a place to sleep. Since its conception at our congregation, it has spread to many churches throughout Norfolk, and the churches take turns hosting the guests for a week at a time. The program has spread to other communities in the area.
Once a week, a group of people meet and make sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs. The next day they are handed out to people at a distribution point. Often times this is the only food that these people will get during the day. Supported entirely by donations, the group works with other groups in other congregations to cover the weekly handout of food.
If you aren’t able to hit the ground locally and work on poverty, consider a micro-loan. For $25.00 you can band with other like-minded people and get money to someone who needs it, as a loan. Check out Kiva, a non-profit that specializes. I have been working with them for over a year, and have had the satisfaction of helping out people all over the globe work their way out of poverty.
The point here is that each of us can have a direct affect on poverty in our own communities, or in communities across the globe, person to person. It might not make changes in the whole world, but it can make a positive change in one life at a time.
Photo by jamesfischer