National Poverty Month
For some, January is a month to work on upholding New Year’s Resolutions and set goals. While setting goals and working towards them, it is also important to remember that January is also National Poverty Awareness Month. Poverty is defined as lacking a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions, and the poverty line is generally determined by the federal government based on the current cost of living, inflation, and the consumer price index. There are currently over 46 million Americans living below the poverty level, and most Americans are expected to spend at least one year below the poverty level between the ages of 25 to 75. Individuals who make less than $11,770 a year or a family of four with less than $24,250 in yearly income are considered to be living in poverty. People with disabilities are at an even higher risk than most others- currently 28% of individuals with disabilities are living in poverty.
What can you do to help? Luckily, there are hundreds of organizations dedicated to eradicating poverty. There are some programs that most are already familiar with, such as Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry, and Feeding America. Another noteworthy organization is Kiva, which is a non-profit that connects lenders with those in poverty. Individual lenders can contribute as little as $25 to Kiva to help create opportunities for low income families. Kiva also does not charge interest, or take a percentage of what is being lent. CARE USA is a global organization with an emphasis on empowering women throughout the world. CARE USA is designed to serve individuals in some of the poorest communities in the world, and work as advocates for global responsibility. If you are looking to help those in your local community, check with local churches or food banks to see how you can get involved.