Severe poverty hit a 32 year high in 2005.
Most of the severely poor (under $10,000 annual income for a family) in the United States are women and children.
Life for most single mothers in the urban centers of our nation is indescribably tough.
Limited income never translates to the curtailment of need.
Children all need the same basics: nutritious food, decent housing, emotional nurture, safe places to play and to learn, access to routine, preventive medical attention, engaged parents.
Poverty cuts hard and persistently against every single one of these basic needs.
Poverty unsettles the equilibrium of communities, families, adults and children. Poverty throws everything out of kilter. Poverty introduces many negatives to the equation of life in our cities.
Over the past almost 40 years, I've watched poor women struggle to do their best by their children, often without the help of the men in their lives. I've seen lots of courage. Sadness has been a constant companion, as well. I've seen the love and the devotion, the pride and the fear.
I'm convinced that as women find ways to battle through poverty, they and their children achieve great and surprising things.
But the poverty is a power to be reckoned with.
My hat is off to every mom today who struggles on alone and poor in an increasingly difficult social and economic environment.
Shame on us as a people if we refuse to enter the struggle to see things improve for our weakest and most vulnerable neighbors.
We must do better.
Announcement from Duke Memorial UMC
2 weeks ago