Recent census reports indicate that the American poverty has risen to the highest level since the 1960s with a staggering 14.3%, or 43.6 million Americans now living in poverty. Statistical information shows that all segments of our population experienced increase poverty, but that minorities and child were particularly hard hit. Poverty levels for Hispanics has increased to 25.3 %, blacks saw an increase in poverty to 25.8%, and child poverty rose to 20.7%,.
You can read the entire report at news.yahoo.com.
So what can you do to help those millions of Americans living in poverty? The answer is Donate.
How to help Americans living in poverty
1. Donate to a local food bank. For the past two years, food banks have been struggling to meet the food needs of unemployed or underemployed. You can help feed the hungry by either donating money for groceries to a local food pantry or buying nutritious groceries instead Even if you are pinching pennies yourself these days, it’s still possible to help those living in poverty. Read my article ” How to donate to a food bank on a budget” for ideas; here’s the link.
2. Volunteer. Food distribution centers are non profit organizations staffed by volunteers. Volunteers are always needed to sort food, pickup food donations, package donated food, prepare sack lunches or hot meals, organize food drives or distribute food to the hungry. Ask at your local food bank, the Salvation Army, or faith community how you can help those living in poverty with a donation of your time.
3. Participate in your city’s utility subsidy program. Cold weather is brutal for those living in poverty. You can also help the poor by participating in a city-sponsored utility subsidy program. How these programs work is by merely “rounding up” a utility payment to the nearest dollar and then X-ing the box that asks if you want the surplus to be directed towards utility costs for the needy.
4. Rethink how you shop for gifts. There’s something obscene about wasting money on cheap gifts when so many people can’t even afford food. Instead of buying stuff for Christmas gift giving this year, consider giving your friends a charity gift certificate instead.
There’s two ways this can work:
…. Instead of a present, donate your money to the food bank instead. Follow up with a handmade card to your friends that reads “In lieu of a gift, I donated X dollars in your name to the Food Bank.”
…. Another option is to buy a charity gift card that allows your friend to pick a charity that addresses poverty in America. This innovative method of charitable giving has been around for a couple of years and is a fantastic way of supporting non profit agencies around the world. The #1 ranked charity gift card program is Tisbest.org. The recipient of a TisBest charity card spends it by donating the funds to the charity of their choice.
These four simple ideas are all easy ways to help those living in poverty in the US. By opening our wallets and giving more of our time, we have the ability to turn the tide on poverty.