Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poverty - What Can You Do To Help?

Morning Y'all!

As part of Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty, thousands of bloggers are uniting to discuss one issue and that is poverty. "We aim to raise awareness, initiate action and to shake the web"! As I am writing this, there are 10,017 sites and 10,891,705 RSS readers participating in Blog Action Day.

The dictionary defines poverty as:

- the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor; indigence.

- deficiency of necessary or desirable ingredients, qualities, etc.

- scantiness; insufficiency.

"Poverty (also called penury) is deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life, including food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, and may also include the deprivation of opportunities to learn, to obtain better employment to escape poverty, and/or to enjoy the respect of fellow citizens."

According to, about 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. This is one person every three and a half seconds. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often.

Poverty effects a many diverse groups in and around the world. No person should ever know what it's like to be poor, in need of the basic necessities so many of us take for granted. The saying that most people are one paycheck away from being homeless is especially true in this economy.

To explain why poverty occurs, there are many factors that are cited. However, no single factor has gained worldwide acceptance. The factors are Economics, Governance, Environmental Factors, Social Factors and Demographics.

The Census Bureau states that as of 2007, the poverty rate in the United States was 12.5%, 37.3 million people were in poverty, up from 36.5 million in 2006. Over 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 per day, which is almost half the world. Most Americans living in poverty are still employed, however, they are having trouble making ends meet. The statistics show there are over 37 million poor people in the United States alone. Just in my state, the state of South Carolina, over 445,000 people go hungry every day. That is an astounding figure and it needs to change!

To help understand poverty, The World Bank states as this, "Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom".

Throughout the year, my husband and I donate clothing to the Salvation Army, participate in food drives and donate to the Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, SC. My husband, Prevo, has performed at many a benefits in our home town to help raise money for those in need. We don't wait for a holiday when the need is so much greater. We are compassionate people and want to do all we can to help those less fortunate than us. We believe to our core that helping your fellow man, woman or child is our responsibility as a human being. Not even for one day should an individual, no matter their demographics, go hungry, not have clean drinking water, not receive medical care when they need it, not have a roof over their head or not have a job.

So what can you do? Go through your closets and pull out the clothes you don't wear anymore. Take a few groceries bags full of canned goods to your local church, donation point or food bank. Give of your time and money; whatever you can do to help make a difference. Check within your community to see how you can help. Let's all join together to help make a difference in the lives of so many. We owe it to humanity!

As always, thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy

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