(October 15) Today we're observing . . .  Blog Action Day 2008 (Poverty)

Today is Blog Action Day 2008. More than 8,000 blogs — with over 8 million readers — are blogging in unison today about a very important issue: Poverty.

The aim of this coordinated social action initiative is to help “change the conversation… to raise awareness, start a global discussion and add momentum to an important cause.”

Every blogger has a unique voice, audience and perspective. By speaking to their readers on topic about an important issue we can discuss global issues like poverty in a new and hugely multi-faceted way. And from discussion springs action.

While poverty is undoubtedly one of (if not the) major global issues, we’re going to focus today on poverty in America. Every other day of the year, our blog talks about how people in America (and around the world) celebrate a multitude of holidays. Some of these holidays are full of religious or national significance, some of them are just fun or even silly.

Today, Americans have a chance to celebrate their bounty in a different way. By talking about poverty and committing to do something about it — in our very own backyard — we can elevate ourselves to a much more joyous celebration during this upcoming, fall holiday season.

When more than 37 million Americans live below the poverty line, our country has a long way to go before we can truly enjoy the plentitude of Thanksgiving.

When 12.6 million American children go hungry every day, our country should be praying — and working — for a miracle of sustenance on Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanza.

In America, the next two and a half months are a time traditionally filled with frivolous merriment, lavish dinners, heartfelt prayer, and community-wide gatherings. Let’s make these holidays extra meaningful this year by committing to do our part, as individuals, as families, and as communities, to alleviate the burden of poverty and to eradicate the scourge of hunger.

  1. For every piece of candy you give out to a trick-or-treater, donate a matching can of food to your local poor. Many food pantries are stripped bare during these uncertain economic times; they would definitely appreciate your contribution.
  2. Spend Thanksgiving serving a festive turkey dinner to the families at your local homeless shelter. Bring your parents, your children and your friends.
  3. Give the gift of giving during the Christmas or Chanukah holiday. Contribute your money, or, equally important, give of your time.
  4. Lobby your members of Congress to expand hot lunch programs so that no child in America has to go hungry.
  5. Commit to being a regular (not just a seasonal) volunteer at a soup kitchen, food pantry or wheels-on-meals delivery service for seniors.


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