In today’s internet rich, multi-media society we are routinely confronted with images of the world-wide struggle against poverty. We don't need to look outside our city or outside of Canada to find poverty - it is all around us. In a study of 17 developed nations, Canada has an average of 15.1 percent - 1 in 7 - children living below the poverty line (Conference Board of Canada 2013), and Manitoba’s child poverty rate is the second highest in Canada (Source: CBC, Nov 24, 2014) despite solid economic conditions in our province.
As individuals, we may feel powerless to do anything about it. That’s normal - it’s a big problem that no one can personally solve on their own. A good place to begin is with these two tips:
1) Start small
2) Connect with an organization that fits your values
Recently, a group of employees from Bison Transport's Winnipeg Terminal spent a couple of hours on a Friday night sorting clothing donations at Siloam Mission, a shelter that seeks to help impoverished people attain and maintain a sense of dignity and have a safe source of clothing, food, and shelter. It seems like a small thing, but if donations come in and no one sorts them, how do they get to the recipient?
Siloam Mission, and other places like it, survive on volunteer labour to provide their services and they greatly need our help. You don’t need to solve the problem yourself. You just need a willing heart, some free time, and to connect with an organization that is helping people. If we all do our part, we’ll get there together.
What do you do to make a difference in your community? Please comment below.