My first reaction to this video was tears. Things often touch my heart first and hardest. But what happens after the tears dry? Oh yes, I am a volunteer at Concerns-U, and I have donated food, and money for new children’s coats to ward-off the frigid New York winter. I am doing more than lots of people, right? But am I just applying a band-aid on an open wound? As a child, my mama would often remind me that “To whom much is given, much is expected” and I have tried to live by those words.
People will accuse the homeless of selling food to buy alcohol and drugs. Do they ? Maybe some of them.Remember the instruction “if a man asks for your shirt,also give him your coat?” Did you know that some basic supplies can’t be bought from food stamps or EBT cards? And I do understand with the thought and agree that cigarettes and alcohol should not be purchasable. Yes, here is a list of the non food items. Could you survive with no toilet paper, detergent, tooth paste, tooth brush, paste, and floss, soap, diapers, tampons and pads, deodorant, hair care products and cleaning products? There is a personal care closet at Concerns-U that is stocked with these items. There is a place for you to start donating. . . . . to your local pantry. Every week I am volunteering, there are requests for these items!
Many, many churches, organizations and individuals do volunteer and donate to pantries and give gifts for children at Christmas. That is a great and noble work. But is there more? President Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, fifty years ago in 1964 and the numbers of homeless and hungry are more today . 48 % of the nation now gets food public assistance. I think that we as a nation need to throw away the band-aids, research, and discuss why that is and work to make sure this stops. We are still the wealthiest nation on earth and we need to find changes are needed to help people get on their feet. There are ideas out there. . . . Rand Paul wants to create economic zones in the cities where many of the poor live to name one. You can make a difference with your voice and your vote. If this is a concern for you ask politicians what they think about a “living wage”? Talk to capitalists and encourage fairness . I am not a big President Obama fan, but I do understand and believe as he says, “that someone who is working full time should not be in abject poverty. . . . . . hungry and unable to provide the basics for his/her family.”
Were you surprised at the faces of the hungry in this video? There were veterans, families, the elderly, and children not seen who have “food insecurity and /or hunger” right here in the Capital District of New York State. I can assure you shopping for them in person, which means walking through the pantry as they make their choices ,with some clear guidelines, will touch your heart.
Don’t just cry over the world of the hungry, but get involved, volunteer, donate, get educated politically. I remember the student demonstrations in the 60s and 70s where the war in Viet Nam finally came to an end as marches and demonstrations took place all through the country. It was shocking, uncomfortable, but effective.
Do you remember the story of the Good Samaritan? We are instructed to “love our neighbor as we love our self.” Are you loving your neighbor?
Post Script: David was surprised at this professional video produced by the regional food bank. Often we hear after donating to a cause that money is mismanaged and paid to top heavy administrators. Good question. . . The Food Bank will use this video of Concerns-U in fundraising that was the purpose. It is always very important to ask questions and research.
Post post script!
The video was produced free of charge by The Creative Advantage out of Albany. They periodically donate their services to local charities. This year it happened to be the RFB. The guys were with us for 9 hours filming – then spent hours more editing. Sent by Katie Bell Powers, Associate Director of Concerns-U
All those people are real clients – not an actor in the bunch.