This was on the news today. As a director working with those who have recently lost their jobs or their income has been cut, this is a current trend for our culture. Those that desire to work and are working need the extra help. How they manage sometimes is beyond me. Young families who are self-employed or others who have taken a cut in pay to support a company’s difficult decision need help. This is our primary group we give to. Those who are now called the “working poor”.
The Working Poor
As the middle class in America continues to be slowly wiped out, the number of working poor continues to increase. Today, nearly one out of every three families in the United States is considered to be “low income”. Millions of American families are finding that they can barely make it from month to month even with both parents working as hard as they possibly can. Blue collar American workers from coast to coast are having their wages decreased at a time when it seems like the cost of virtually every monthly bill is going up. Unfortunately, there is every indication that things are only going to get worse and that average American families are going to be financially squeezed even more in the months and years to come.
The Working Poor Families Project has just released their policy brief for the winter of 2010-11. What they have discovered is that the number of working poor in the United States is higher than they have ever seen it before and it continues to increase at a staggering pace. The following are some of the key findings for 2009 that were pulled right out of their report….
The rest of the article
Groceries and other essentials are on holiday gift lists this year
With unemployment still high and the economy sluggish, more consumers are wrapping baskets of kitchen staples, boxes of meat and grocery store gift cards to help loved ones stock dwindling pantries.
Sometimes my cynical heart rises and wants justice in situations that seem so unfair. I hear and read about stories of homeless here locally and get frustrated with the amount of empty buildings as well as those who are able but unwilling or complain about helping those in need despite their color, ethnicity or problems, not understanding that at some time, they might be in need. Like the situation we had a month ago where a young adult woman, perhaps in her late teens or early twenties, began shouting at us as to why are we giving food to people and her friend with her, a young man in his late teens or very early twenties, asking if we would feed him if he stood in line. A young man who was dirty and looked homeless himself. I served him personally the very next week. My heart saddened by his situation or his hopelessness.
Then phone calls start coming in from donors all across Orange County helping us with food so we can continue to serve those in need. I do not know who they are but the Lord does. One couple dropped off food wrapped in ribbons for whoever we felt needed it. We gave it to two separate families who both lost their jobs. A friend who has her own local community outreach working diligently with motel families calling to say she felt the need to give to us. How blessed are we? We are so very blessed that every week our food pantry gets refilled with food from our volunteer drivers who drive all over OC to pick up food to give out on Wednesday mornings. Every week there are many volunteers that work with this outreach who work endlessly to serve those in need without complaint. They get weary, they could be having lunch or breakfast with their own family which most of them bring along. Their children help, the teens and young adults serve and the elderly serve better than most of us. I see the articles of the basic needs people have, not toys but food, electricity and clothes. The articles posted below just convicted me to no end. Thank you to those who give and who give across the nation not wanting recognition. You put me to shame.
Sometimes I wish I would grow up!
December 14, 2010
By Emily Younker email@example.com The Joplin Globe Tue Dec 14, 2010, 07:47 PM CST
JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin Salvation Army has once again gotten an early Christmas gift from “Santa Claus.”
Five checks totaling $100,000 were dropped into the Salvation Army’s red kettle at Walgreens, 20th and Main streets, sometimebetween 5 and 9 p.m. Monday, Capt. Jason Poff said.
“They were folded and hidden within dollar bills,” he said. “Really, it feels surprising, shocking, amazing all at the same time when you open up a bucket and $20,000 checks start falling out.”
The rest of the story…
Anonymous Donor Gives $40K To Local Food Bank
WCCO-TV’s Lindsey Seavert Reports
December 16, 2010 10:12 PM
NEW HOPE, Minn. (WCCO) — Christmas came early for a Twin Cities food bank struggling to keep up with the growing number of hungry families this holiday season.
The Emergency Foodshelf Network in New Hope stocks and serves more than 230 food pantries in Minnesota.
“We are running leaner than we have probably run in years,” said Executive Director Lori Kratchmer, who says this year donations are down at least 20 percent. “Across all suburbs around the metro area so, it’s really broad, the need, and it continues to be greater and greater.
Another awesome story
Secret Santa Drops Thousands in Salvation Army Kettle
December 08, 2010 12:15 PM
Somewhere out there, a secret Santa just saved Christmas for a lot of Tennessee Valley families. And they did it with the biggest gift ever to a Salvation Army red kettle in our area.
Great Story continues here…
For us this year as a community outreach, we have not had the funds to provide toys for the children in need in our community of Orange and the County of Orange. We have prayed for the necessities however, knowing that this year has seen an increase in the amount of food needed by families. There once again, has the community of Orange stepped up to support those in need of food such as St. Josephs Hospital, Project Dignity and many wonderful men and women of this community. We will have Christmas dinners this year for those who are in need.
Kids write Santa this year for basic needs instead of toys
||By Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
|Santa’s Elf Frederica Green, right, and her workmates read the letters for Santa from kids.. Each year for the past 112 years, the Santa letters come pouring in to New York City’s main post office and postal workers (they calls themselves elves) field many of them as part of Operation Santa.
Published: Dec. 13, 2010
Updated: Dec. 14, 2010 5:24 a.m.
Despite cold temps, shelter opening delayed
By YVETTE CABRERA
Last month, when a cold chill pierced our normally sunny Orange County bubble, I could think of only one thing, and despite the approaching holidays it had nothing to do with visions of sugar plums or yuletide festivities.
I had the homeless on my mind, all 21,479 of them. That’s the official county estimate for those expected to become homeless over the course of a year in Orange County.
Gordon Henderson, 44, and his 11-year-old daughter Angel, await the opening of Orange County’s Cold Weather Armory Emergency Shelter Program, which opened at two alternate sites on Dec. 6, including the First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton. Henderson didn’t know where he and his daughter would spend the night until he learned of the shelter opening in Fullerton.
Article continues here
Hunger and Homelessness in America
“There’s nothing surer; the rich get rich and the poor get poorer,” was a slogan of the roaring 20s. The famous phrase was adapted from “Ain’t We Got Fun,” a popular song recorded in 1921. So what’s new in America in the first decade of the 2000s?
Nothing! America’s top 72 wage earners averaged 84 million
dollars each in income in 2009, according to Social Security Administration data.
Hunger and Homelessness in America