I was going to take this post in an entirely different direction, but then I heard from my friend who runs a family home for neglected and abandoned people in our area. With covid and the resulting unemployment the needy find themselves in an ever-increasing precarious situation. Her food stores have all been distributed and the shelves are empty. In addition to the usual assortment of nonperishable food which is always in need, individual-sized items are needed for the kids’ backpack program. Also, I am hearing for the first time how many families do not even have salt and pepper to season their food. This may seem like a small thing, but sometimes it’s the smallest things that make a difference. My friend’s correspondence goes on to list all the food items needed by our less fortunate. The basic gist of it is, whatever you can think of is needed. The children also need all sizes of clothing and shoes, but the thing that most tugged at my heart is that they need underwear. The families do not have money to buy their children underwear. This sounds like something from the Great Depression. These needs are not just in my area. People everywhere are in great need, but maybe we should rejoice because this gives us more opportunities to show love everywhere. If everyone does what they can, I’m convinced we can begin to turn this situation around.
I also think that education and access to books and learning materials can keep this situation from spiraling out of control. These are priceless tools for all people to lift themselves out of their current situation. My favorite causes are DonorsChoose ,(https://www.donorschoose.org/), where teachers list their needs and you can help them out in the amount you choose, and Reading is Fundamental (RIF) ( https://www.rif.org/). RIF ‘s goal is to make certain that every child has a book of their own. Owning your own book is a positive step toward literacy. My kids looked always forward to RIF days. They excitedly brought their books home to show the family and read them over and over again. There are also such organizations such as Room to Read and First Book (https://firstbook.org/) I am a regular donor to First Book. I like it because it works to make books available to children all over our socio-economic spectrum. For a $30 a month donation, I receive a children’s book on a regular basis. I must admit that I like children’s books, so I give the book a quick see and then donate it to a school or organization in our area. There are more nonprofit organizations seeking to make literacy available to everyone. Just go onto Bookriot (https://bookriot.com/literacy-charities/) and check out the opportunities available. There is much need, but there are also so many ways to help. It boggles the mind.
On a positive note, when we stopped by the shelter to drop our contributions off we were astounded to see the quantity and quantity of good, nourishing food already donated. Truly, we are family.
Till the next time,
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” ― Mahatma Gandhi