Poverty and its effects are a very real issue for many Americans today. In Philadelphia, for example, there are about 440,000 people living under the poverty threshold today, in just one major city! Thankfully, there are many ways that an individual person can easily help those in need, most of which don’t require much more than some of your time. Read how below.
- Educate Yourself
Take some time to look through the issues affecting people in poverty, especially the ones that affect your geographic region specifically. Issues such as public transportation (or lack thereof), public education, policies around contraception, and racial inequality all affect the cycle of poverty. It is very important to understand these issues before you can tackle them or educate others on the subject
- Take Legislative Action
Get involved on the issues that affect your area. Look for non profit organization at the local or national level to find out how to help in their efforts to support legislation that helps with poverty conditions.
- Donate Clothing and Household Items
The average American family discards more than 65 pounds of clothing every year. Of this clothing, 99% could be recycled into charity donations. Of the organizations that accept clothing donations, try to find one that supports a cause you care about, such as helping military families or the blind. Many organizations that accept charity donations will even arrange to pick up clothing at your curb, making it that much easier for you.
You can volunteer your time for any group in need with any skill set you may already possess. Non profit organizations always need people in a variety of settings- shelters, soup kitchens, community centers, after school programs, or employment centers all have opportunities and need help.
- Donate Leftovers
The U.S. generates 21.5 million tons of food waste a year. If all that food was consumed or composted, the benefit to the environment via reduced greenhouse gases would be the same as if we took 2 million cars off the road. Schools and workplace cafeterias are a great place to start- try speaking to the administration about what it would take to turn that extra food into charity donations. Don’t forget to emphasize that charitable donations are tax deductible!
How do you help your community? Tell us in the comments!
More can be found here.