Write a letter to your local newspaper and let your community know how you feel about children in poverty. Copy. Paste. Edit. Submit.
Thirty thousand. That number could be considered huge or quite small, depending on your perspective. If you are talking about population, that is the size a small town. In regard to time, 30,000 seconds is actually only a little over eight hours. Thirty thousand grains of sand wouldn't get you very far in building a sand castle. However, if you received a $30,000 raise, you might go out and celebrate. But here's another perspective: 30,000 is the number of children under age 5 who die every day from a preventable cause. That's right every day. That's like 30 large elementary schools disappearing from the face of the earth on Monday and again on Tuesday and so on weekends, too.
What's stealing the future from so many children? It's not some mysterious plague or natural disaster. We're talking about things like malaria, diarrhea, measles and unclean water. What's unconscionable is that nearly every one of those deaths could be prevented for as little as $1 per child. Yes, we have issues in our city that monopolize the news, like the rising cost of housing, local politics and traffic delays. But we rarely hear about something as devastating as tens of thousands of children dying in suffering every day as we go about our daily routines.
It's time we started demanding more of ourselves. I would like to urge readers of this newspaper to educate themselves beyond the issues within our borders. Find out what's going on in the rest of the world and then take a step to do something about it. A good place to start is compassion.com/youcan. There are practical ways we can all get involved in the fight against poverty. Thirty thousand. What does that number mean to you now?
Did you know there are more verses in the Bible about children and the poor than there are about heaven and hell combined? In fact, God mentions them more than 2,000 times! I wonder how many times either children or the poor are mentioned in today's paper? It seems to me that if they are so important to God, they should be important to us, too. I'd like to see this paper addressing the needs of children in our community more often. How many of our children go to bed hungry at night? Are children of poor families getting the nutrition and immunizations they need? How are we doing, as a community, at raising young men and women who contribute back to society?
I am a supporter of an organization called Compassion International. It serves more than 800,000 of the poorest children around the world feeding them, giving them a safe place to learn, play and grow. Compassion is doing this in the world's poorest countries, where communities can't afford to do it themselves. We don't have such an excuse. We can make children a priority here if we choose to. And I believe it starts with informing our community. I'm calling on this paper to devote more space to issues affecting our children our future. I hope that others will join me in this call.