The U.S. poverty rate is now the third worst among developed nations.
Why should you care? Because every year, the United States spends $525 Billion to help those in poverty*. Think of what that could buy us. Sending four people to Mars costs $6 billion. Stopping rainforest deforestation costs $18 billion. And rescuing all stray dogs worldwide costs $400 million. So, if we eradicate poverty, we could inhabit Mars, bring our favorite fluffy friend, and leave behind a healthy world to come back to – all in one year. Talk about accomplishing something meaningful.
Poverty in the United States is defined as living on less than $34 per day. (the average rent + utilities in the United States is $45/day). Currently, 46.5 million people in the U.S. live in poverty. That’s one out of every six people. More than this, poverty is seen as at the root of so many social ills. Children from impoverished families not only struggle more with mental illness, but have altered DNA as compared to their non-impoverished peers. 34% of domestic abuse victims state poverty as the cause. Indeed, the case has been made for a link between poverty and terrorism. So by eradicating poverty, we could not only live on Mars, we could do so with less mental illness, in more loving families, and without terrorism. ‘Nuff said.
So how do we end poverty?
So glad you asked.
One Easy Answer to Poverty
People that work in the field of poverty state that one of the most powerful answers to poverty is community involvement. Yep. Community. Community involvement in the lives of those living in poverty promotes education, networking resources to create better employment opportunities and a safety net in times of unexpected financial strain. Historically, small, local institutions (in large part local churches) were at the forefront of helping poverty. Those small communities were able to give one-on-one support to the people in need – and to help them identify and overcome each of the obstacles that were standing in the way of progression out of poverty. As our global society developed, so developed our institutions – which means that we now rely on the government to solve these problems for us (in the form of welfare, medicaid, etc) – and we lose that one-on-one interaction that’s so needed to create a long-term solution.
Enter the Good+ Foundation. This is the organization that we worked with this week to give you an easy way to be a part of the solution. Started in 2001, the Good+ Foundation is dedicated to helping families that are battling poverty. How do they do that? Not only do they provide those services and one-on-one help to families that are struggling, but they also partner with organizations all over the world that are doing the same – thus creating a global network of support and common resources to those people down at the individual level that are giving help.
And now you can join them.
This week we developed a project with Good+ that you – yes you, you that is tired of hearing all of the bad news but have no extra hours in their day to figure out how to solve it – that you can do to help stop the cycle of poverty. It is easy, it is fun – and you don’t need to get a babysitter or volunteer at a local nonprofit to make it happen. In fact, you don’t even have to walk out your front door. Because we believe that it doesn’t need to be so damn hard to make this world a better place – and we’re here to make that a reality for you. Get all of the details on the project here. And in the words of Miss Penner, my seventh-grade math teacher, “Good Luck, Have Fun, and Do Well.” Go forth and be a world-changer, my friend.
*All resources & information can be found in our Poverty Board on Pinterest. Follow us for updates on all of our issues and projects!
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Carmen Westbrook is the CEO and co-founder of Aina Giving, a female-led company that transforms women into world changers. Join the movement of DIY World Change and get our accredited projects, leadership coaching, and nonprofit consulting – email us and tell us how you want to change the world. We’ll help you get there.