Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day Fifteen: Poverty / Blog Action Day 2008

Poverty is the worst form of violence. --Mahatma Gandhi

Poverty:  October 15, 2008
According to the U.N., half of the world's population survives on two U.S. dollars per day. Think about how much money those of us in the middle class (or even in the lower middle class and into the lower class) in first world nations spend every day on things like coffee and gasoline. Two dollars may go further in third world countries, but it is still far from a stable, living wage.

Much public discussion of poverty focuses on global poverty. And, of course, poverty in third world nations is a problem that must be addressed. But poverty exists in the United States as well. Too often, what poverty in the United States looks like is this empty refrigerator. It's certainly what poverty has looked like for me in my life.

There are so many things those of us who are not living in poverty can do to help others get a leg up. Kiva is a wonderful resource that supports microloans around the world to help people develop businesses and improve their lives. And every major city in the U.S. (and many smaller cities as well) has at least one women's or homeless shelter, food bank, or charity organization devoted to helping the poor. Find what exists in your town and donate time, money, or goods.

The Blog Action Day 2008 site also provides a list of 88 ways to help. Check it out and find a way to help that works for you.

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