Faces of Poverty
I was on craigslist a few weeks ago looking for some volunteer opportunities. This is not the first time that I have praised the magic of craigslist. You can find anything in the world on craigslist. It can fulfill all of your wildest dreams and fantasies. Weather you are searching for a place to live, or looking to buy a sidekick for cheap, or looking for a No Strings Attached One Night stand, Craig’s list gets it done, quick!
Anyway, I found this volunteer opportunity called Food for all DC. I was meaning to go for quite a while but never really got the chance until yesterday. I got up early and took the metro to DC to help pack up the boxes for the needy families. There were so many volunteers and we got over 70 boxes packed with sorts of things like canned goods, vegetables, juices, soups, etc.. in around 20 minutes. The scene reminded me of what an ant colony or a bee hive looks like when they are working on gathering food or honey. A bunch of people running around in a seemingly chaotic yet controlled situation with a common goal in mind.
After the packing evolution we split up in to teams of two to deliver the food. A lot of the people left since we only had 7 drivers. I got the privilege of getting to go on one of the delivery routs and actually getting to interact with the people for whom we made all of these boxes of food. The area that we got assigned to was not the greatest in Washington DC but I grew up in a semi ghetto and was not really bothered by the shady looking people and sub-poverty level housing.
We delivered food to 8 singles people and two families. These people were a part of this program for many reasons, some lost their jobs or a loved on, others were disabled, and many other reasons. Getting to interact with these people and see how they live really touched a nerve in me. It is sad and a reality check. It is hard to complain about the things wrong in your life when just down the street people are living in complete poverty.
Many people do not believe that Americans live in poverty. They are living in a dream world where there are wall marts everywhere, everyone has a job and can afford to feed their families. That is simply not true. I am always stating that the United States Government needs to focus on solving the problems of poverty here at home before going around the world and trying to solve all of the third world countries problem.
Poverty has been a problem since the beginning of time. There has always been the rich and poor. You would think that in todays world with so much opportunity, technology, and resources that in our great nations capitol you would not have neighborhoods that resemble the ones you see on T.V. with some celebrity telling you to donate money to feed the children that live in the houses shown. But we do, and that is simply unacceptable.
I am saddened that I have recognized the problem, but cant seem to find a solution. I realize that people have been searching for a solution to this problem for a very long time. I am just one in a sea of caring individuals who want to put an end to poverty, but where can we start? Who takes precedence. We delivered the food to a handful of individuals but I guarantee you that 90 % of the people living in those neighborhood were just as deserving and needy of the food that we were giving away.
It is going to take a lot more than caring words, a blog post, and a box of food to solve this issue, but I suppose it is a start.
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