Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm not a politician

but this doesn't seem logical.... hurting children (and our future leaders, teachers, politicians, doctors, parents) to save money.

Do you know that in our country, 1 out of every 12 children lives in extreme poverty?

or that every 32 seconds a baby is born into poverty? (stats from www.childrendefense.org)

Now I have had soo many conversations with people over this topic. I understand people who argue that poverty is caused by laziness or personal issues. I see why people get frustrated in thinking poverty is the problem of that person. But the truth is it's more complicated than this. And no matter what you think about adults and how they got in poverty, children are NOT RESPONSIBLE for the state in which they are born into.

I feel like as Christians we have such deep compassion for the poor in other countries yet we aren't moved when it comes to those in need in our own community. How many pray for the orphans across the world, but neglect to even consider the children here longing for a family?

Don't get me wrong, I have a HUGE place in my heart for those in need from other spaces in this world, but I also have a DEEP PASSION for people here in Daviess County. I'm sure that this was fostered first from a Campus Crusade trip to Chicago for my 2003 college spring break trip. I worked mainly with a Hispanic after school program. It was such an eye-opening experience and I fell in love with children. After college, I worked with a local Christian mentoring program, MentorKids Kentucky. It continued my love for those in physical and spiritual need. And most recently, our involvement in foster care.

I often think about what type of life our children would still be living in, if not for the state stepping in. Without sharing any details of their case.... I think things like:
* where would they be sleeping tonight?
* would they be walking in this snow/rain?
* what would they be eating for dinner tonight or would they be eating dinner tonight?
* when would they realize how different their lives were from others?

So many other thoughts cross my mind everyday. Simple things that I took for granted growing up. When reading L books at night, he tells me that he never had books where he lived before. That breaks my heart and makes my eyes well up right now because he LOVES books. There have been many other moments where certain comments he makes or others who knew their life before have caused me to stop in awe. How can this be happening in our very own town. Maybe even down the street from our neighborhood.

Some of you might be thinking right now, ok... poverty sucks, what can we do about it. First off, we have to PRAY for those living in poverty. Especially, for the children who have no choice in the matter.

Also, being an advocate for these children. Become a mentor, volunteer in schools, get to know ALL TYPES of people in your community and stand up for the innocent.

One way you can do that RIGHT NOW is what I really want to talk about.

My Little Man is in our city's Head Start. He is doing great and has grown leaps this year! We are thankful to the teachers and other staff who make this possible. Head Start makes such a difference in the life of children in poverty or those with developmental/speech needs. Children who may not have the best living conditions are fed, taught life skills, encouraged, challenged educationally and LOVED everyday in head start classes around America. The years before a child steps into a elementary school are important foundational steps into what their academic career will look like. If L had been still at his old home and not in head start, I have no doubt he'd struggle all the way through school. They've helped him socially, academically, given him confidence and instilled so many life skills.

Recently, the House has proposed a bill that includes cutting Head Start program funding by 22.4%. In just L's preschool, it would cut 385 spots for children in our community to have the same chance L has had to prepare for school. Please support Head Start, First Steps and other programs serving children in our community.

Go to http://www.petition2congress.com/4182/save-head-start and send the email/letters to our representatives.

2 other great sites for finding ways to take action to help children:
www.childrensdefense.org
www.savethechildren.org

I watched The Talk one day and saw a great interview with Marian Wright Edelman. She is an amazing advocate for those living in poverty and children in need. Here's a picture of her {yes, i took it of my tv : ) }....

Thanks for enduring this long post and I hope it has an impact to make us all more OTHERS minded and compassionate to all those in need. The biggest motivation we should have to love (ALL) others is the love Jesus displays to us!

"And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25: 40

1 comments:

Becca said...

Love this post and love your heart!

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