Know You're Blessed. Join the Fight.
As we reflect on our blessings this harvest season, we look back at one of our blog posts to remind us how much we should be thankful for.
Two PSLs, Please!
OThe season of fall brings up images of Halloween, pumpkin spice lattes, and food harvest — assuming you live in one of the wealthiest countries of the world. And if you live in the United States, you likely fall in the global upper-middle class or higher. A study conducted by Pew Research in 2015 revealed that 88% of Americans rank in the financial elite on a global scale. It may not always feel like you're living the life of luxury, but consider the simple pleasures in life that you don't have to worry about: clean water, clothing, a daily meal. Everything else, globally speaking, is luxury (also known as first world problems). Consider this: the majority of the world lives on less than the cost of two venti pumpkin spice lattes per day.
1.53 Billion People Living in Poverty
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation, 40% of all households have single parents, and of those, 85% are single mother households. 60% of these single mother households are impoverished. Out of 7.5 billion people in the world, 1.53 billion are affected by poverty. With numbers like these, it’s not easy to look away. The United Nations, along with many corporations, has made it their mission to create change and to help eradicate this social injustice.
We are not saying you should feel guilty about your position in life. Feeling guilty for being blessed is a waste. And quite frankly, insulting to the rest of the world. The hard truth is that hundreds of thousands of people go without food everyday. We’ve all seen the reports of famine and drought that have desecrated villages, towns and cities. We can no longer turn a blind eye. It’s time to share our blessings.
Enough Food for 10 Billion+
A study conducted in 2012 discovered that the world produces enough food per year for over 10 billion people. Eric Holt Gimenez, contributor for the Huffington Post, put it well when he said, "Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity. For the past two decades, the rate of global food production has increased faster than the rate of global population growth. The world already produces more than 1.5 times enough food to feed everyone on the planet. That’s enough to feed 10 billion people, the population peak we expect by 2050. But the people making less than $2 a day — most of whom are resource-poor farmers cultivating unviably small plots of land — can’t afford to buy this food."
What Can Be Done?
The need is obvious and consistent. And the battle to eradicate poverty and inequality is a long-term war that impacts access to clean water, healthy food, education and safe living spaces. So what can be done? Well, the UN has set two dates in October for global awareness: October 15 is the International Day of Rural Women, and October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
You can get involved in your community by:
1. Volunteering: Organizations like Convoy of Hope in your area are always looking for volunteers.
2. Lobbying: Find out what your government is doing for low-income families. Lobby for changes in laws and programs to help these families get access to survival resources.
3. Reallocating funds: The next time you want to go to Starbucks and you see a person on the side of the street asking for food, skip the scone and help them out. However, the way to make a sustainable and long-term impact is to help people in need get access to training and support programs so they can get back up on their feet and earn a decent living.
Vulnerability Fuels Trafficking
Please realize that vulnerable people are all around us. Keep perspective on your own position in life. Understand your blessings and take a moment to consider someone in your life that could use a friend, a meal, or a place to rest their head. When people are vulnerable, they become easy targets for human trafficking.
Consider Joining the Fight
Join the fight against human trafficking by commenting below and sharing this article to raise awareness. At Made for Freedom, our mission is to support survivors and those at-risk of human trafficking with dignified employment. Take a stance on this horrific issue when you buy and don our jewelry and apparel with our Statement Pieces collection below:
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