(ARA) - Poverty is a serious issue in our country. In fact, there are 36.5 million Americans living in poverty, including 12.8 million children. Shockingly, of all the industrialized nations, the United States has the most people living in poverty.
But it doesn't have to be this way. And you can be part of the solution.
Catholic Charities USA has launched the Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America. The main goal of this campaign is to cut the U.S. poverty rate in half by 2020 and calls upon everyone to address the issues and get involved. The campaign urges the government to improve public policies that strengthen and support families and aims to educate policymakers and the public about the struggles of those living in poverty -- as well as solutions for lifting people out of poverty.
"This Campaign is about who we are as a nation," says Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA. "We must not ignore the injustice of poverty and the extreme inequality in America. We must work together to advocate for changes that promote human dignity and the common good."
Local Catholic Charities agencies across the country have been transforming lives for over 200 years. Today, Catholic Charities offers help and creates hope for nearly eight million people by providing food to the poor, shelter to the homeless, and responding to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
For example, one mother -- an immigrant from Guatemala who speaks little English -- started a successful childcare business in her home with funds from a Catholic Charities' Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program. Another single mom on public assistance, with help from the same program, received her real estate license. She was able to purchase her own home, establish good medical and life insurance plans and open college savings accounts for her children. They have broken the cycle of poverty.
These success stories happen every day. But there could be even more success stories if more Americans had a better understanding of poverty in our country. After all, poverty doesn't just affect the families who suffer. It jeopardizes the economic well-being of our nation as a whole.
"Statistics on poverty don't give the whole picture," says Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA. "There are many faces of poverty who often go unnoticed." Despite common stereotypes, most impoverished people have jobs. Nearly two out of three families with incomes below the poverty line include one or more workers.
"By taking a personal step to become educated and volunteer, you gain a greater awareness of the people you are helping and the challenges they face," adds Snyder.
You can be part of the solution. Join the campaign to Reduce Poverty in America and see how lending your voice and actions can go a long way in cutting poverty in half by 2020. Visit www.CatholicCharitiesUSA.org for more information.
Courtesy of ARAcontent