Originally Posted by slybydesignw210
I congratulate you on your efforts. Its good to know that some people out there are taking an active stance. I currently am a Volunteer Board Member for a program called Dancing After School. I also used to be a S.T.R.I.V.E. instructor back in New York. Those who work for the betterment of others carry a big weight and get little to no pay for doing so.
I started back in the sixties when our Government declared a War on Poverty in Appalachia. It was part of my Eagle Scout project along with an environmental project. While the government has certainly done a bunch, the private charities and volunteer actions from the era is what has really helped.
People like to trash the Welfare system as a big boondoggle. It certainly has its faults but I don't think people realize that just 40 years ago there were millions of Americans living in houses without heat, with outdoor plumbing, many without any education, without any health focus for kids. There were houses within a mile of the county seat of MANY counties, in many states that had dirt floors, no running water and oft-times some of the kids just died.
In most areas schools were segregated, with blacks going to schools that got much less money per child than the white schools, blacks lived in the "bottoms" prone to flooding and the hospital care given was substandard at best. This was less than 40 years ago. The Welfare system, which covers much more than simply foodstamps, WIC and Unemployment insurance started balancing all that out.
The changes that have occurred in society, both in the mostly white hills of Appalachia and in the black inner cities over the past 40 years have been staggering. Some folks have gone from 125th to Wall Street or over to BadBoy on Broadway and 54. Others have not been as lucky and still live Harlem, some successful, others just making it. Others have gone from the mountains of East Kentucky to successfully work all over the world, while folks living next door, with the same opportunities, now live in a trailer and kinda work in a mine, broken at their lot in life. Sometimes it is the people, and not the circumstance, other times the environment provides a cloud that seems to block hope for an entire area. It takes an outside influence to kickstart it to make things happen.
Whatever it takes to CONTINUE to help everyone grow and prosper, it is going to be a combination of Government, private sector, social charities, churches and individuals. It is also going to be an acknowledgment that sometimes people just need help, that they cannot do it on their own. Some can, some can't. A mature society can work through that.
It is also going to take a living wage so there is not a caste system in this country where we have one class of worker who does all the dirty work for wages that does not allow them to grow, support their families, have health insurance and an ability to give their children a future.
We might just have to give up our 12 pair of socks for 12 bucks at Walmart if we are going to have a society that is responsible. As I have said before...
Society is only as good as it treats those among us that have the least.