Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Power of One

The financial crisis has a lot of us on edge. We’re worried about our families. Our homes. Our jobs.

The things that demand a little more of every paycheck just seem to keep increasing. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the grocery store. The cost of food, like everything else, is on the rise.
While you were reading that paragraph, something horrible happened: a child died. According to Bread for the World, a child dies every five seconds due to hunger-related causes. And the chances are good that that child was among the world’s most poverty-stricken. If things are tough for you, imagine how much worse they must be for someone who was already struggling.

So why am I going down this dark path? To shed some light on this year’s Blog Action Day topic of choice, poverty. (Thanks to our friends up north at Old Stone House for getting me aware.)

All the time I hear people say, “I’m just one person. What can I do?” Well, here’s some things just about every one of us can do that can make a difference. Some of them won’t cost a penny!

  • Clean out your closets. Winter is coming. Many families don’t have money to buy winter clothing. Got coats and sweaters that you no longer want/need? Consider donating them to a local second-hand shop or shelter.
  • Grab some canned goods. The next time you’re buying staples like vegetables, pasta, peanut butter, rice, flour or ready-made foods (nonperishable), throw a few extra in the cart. Drop these off at a neighborhood food pantry.
  • Adopt a family. At work, we do this every year at the holidays. I have the joy of heading this up. We work with multiple agencies to help both families and seniors. We get everything from Christmas gifts to household goods, to food and gas cards to try to not only brighten the holidays, but some of the days after, too. You can do this through your job, too, or social organization, church, or even just with your family! And you don’t have to wait for the holidays.
  • Give. If you already donate, give just a little bit more. The need is so much greater this year and many service organizations are already reporting serious drops in contributions. And your donation doesn’t have to just be cash or goods. Volunteer a few hours at a local food pantry or shelter or become part of a literacy or mentoring program.
  • Write a post. If you blog, write about this program. You still have time TODAY, but even if you can’t, there will still be people in need tomorrow. If one person reads your post and does something ... well, there you go. We did it! Feel free to share some of these ideas to encourage others.

You may already be doing one or several of these things or others. Applause. YAY! And if you’re not – and you can please do. It’s amazing the difference that each of us can make individually. Put all that effort together, and the change will be nothing short of phenomenal.


Michael said...

Hey - thanks for the mention!

The sum of the parts has always been greater than the whole...

Keep up the great work - its nice to visit a blog 50+ times a month for updates! (How do you do it?!)

All the best - Michael

Gene said...

A most excellent post. I blogged about it, too, but I think yours is even better. Hopefully people will read them and follow through!

NV said...

Thanks, Michael. I'm with you on the sum of parts.

And thanks for the kind words about the blog. I don't know how I do it. I think it's because writing is as vital as oxygen to me. Go without either for too long, and well ...

Gene -- Thanks! I saw your post right before I published mine. you're sweet. It's wonderful that you did this, too. Here's hoping that we were contagious. :-)

Ann said...

Bravo! The power of ONE person can be immense! Abe Lincoln? Anne Frank? Hellen Keller?....

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