October 15, 2008

The Blogosphere Takes on Poverty for Blog Action Day

This post was written by Chanelle Carver, founder of Literacy 'n' Poverty Project, activist, volunteer and consultant for socially conscious organizations.

It's Blog Action Day!

A day the blogosphere unites to discuss the same issue. Not two or three, just ONE.

One issue that affects over a billion people throughout the world. One issue that has caused pain and heartache for millions of families, children, men and women alike. That issue is POVERTY.

No matter how you define it, the truth is poverty exists. There are families living below and above the poverty line who face great challenges that many may never have to endure.

When was the last time you had to decide which of your family members gets a new winter coat? Have you ever skipped a meal just to have enough food for your children? Thankfully, I have yet to bear the burden of deciding which of my kids will eat and hopefully, I won't have to. But like the saying goes...Never Say Never.

For two months straight while in college, I ate Quaker Oats Oatmeal 3 times a day. And I STRONGLY dislike oatmeal but it was affordable and bills had to be paid. My gourmet dinners and "smell so good, wake me up in the morning" breakfasts came to a screeching halt. I was mortified, more so because three guaranteed meals a day is a dream come true for some families. Even if it is oatmeal. This saddens me greatly.

What if the shoe were on the other foot...

...and specifically, my foot? What if I needed to live on less than $1 a day? The mere thought frightens me. Have I taken all that life - and my mother - has given me for granted? Let's face it, I've spent more than a dollar a day when I was unemployed!

I don't know. What I do know is that ALL OF US can do something to end extreme poverty. Do something to make things a little better for others in developing countries OR for the developing neighborhood 5 or 10 miles from your current residence.

Let's bump it up to $2 a day
. Or $3 or $5. Now we're getting somewhere. Donate to charity, test your willpower and try living on $1 a day, volunteer with your favorite nonprofit...the list goes on. The possibilities are endless.

So friends, I make my final point:

Do Something! Find your own fabulous way to make social change a reality. Just don't sit back, sob or get angry about the poor children with flies on their face you see on the commercials. They can't hear your cries and in reality, your tears may mean little to them.

Share you stories with others and let them know how they too can help end extreme poverty. If you want, tell us your story in a comment. Remember, sharing is caring. :)

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