Monday, 04 January 2010
Photo Credit Mary Ellen Mark
Like one fourth of our population, children like Carrie Ellen Copas, 10 (pictured above), is poor. Not since 1965 have so many children been so needy.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, poor families are families with cash incomes of less than $16,079 a year for a family of three—or $20,614 for a family of four. So, while many families with children have family members who work they still remain under the poverty level.
In 2007, the number of American families overall increased by 3 million, while the number in poverty rose slightly, in 2007 to 8.1 million, from 7.62 million . The poverty rate rose to 10.3 percent, or about one family in ten. Imagine what the poverty level is now that the economy has seemed to take a dump on us and unemployment is at an all time high.
In 2008 there were over half a million more children in poverty than in the previous year: 14.1 million altogether. The poverty rate for minors (under 18) increased to 19 percent, or more than one in six.
Children are one-fourth (25%) of our population, but in 2008 were again more than a third (36%) of all people in poverty in the United States. The poverty rate for children is far higher than for adults or seniors.
Children under the age of six are particularly vulnerable to poverty. In 2008, the poverty rate for related children under six living in families was again over 20 percent—one child in five.
But the number of small children in poverty increased substantially to 5.3 million children in 2008, from 5.1 million children in 2007.
More than half—53 percent—of all children under six living in families with a female householder (with no husband present) live in poverty. That's more than five times the rate of their counterparts in married-couple families (11.0 percent).
Here is a heart touching video that brings poverty into focus:
So now that Christmas and the New Year has passed please continue to remember those who are below the poverty level.
Bread for the City and Zacchaeus Free Clinic (B&Z) provides free food, clothing, medical care, legal and social services to over 8,000 low-income and homeless residents of Washington, DC each month.
Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Catholic bishops. CCHD assists people to rise out of poverty through empowerment programs that foster self-sufficiency. Through private donations and annual parish collections, CCHD has offered more than $260 million in support to nearly 4,000 self-help projects developed by grassroots groups of poor people.
The Feinstein Foundation seeks to end hunger in America through educational programs and political advocacy. To participate in the campaign, sign the online petition, download a petition and send it in via snail mail, or apply for one of three humanitarian scholarships offered by the Foundation.
First8 is a unique Dutch photography campaign against poverty. Through the use of photography, video and music, their site explores the "unacceptable consequences of poverty" using the eight Millennium Development Goals as its guide.
This is just a few of the many sites. Please share your favorite poverty organizations -national or global...and as always I would love to hear you thoughts!
Do you know of any other poverty organizations or support any of these organizations?
(U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007)