We almost had a “snow day” here this week. It was quite a news story -- oh the preparations needed, the possibility of ice and particularly “black ice,” and predictions of heavy snow! Most folks headed home early on Tuesday and many started their day late on Wednesday.
I love the possibility of a snow day, almost as much as I love a good snow day! The excitement, the anticipation of a day home where there are no expectations besides playing in the snow with your kids and snuggling under blankets. We were ready with all the basics: milk, wine and chocolate, lots of firewood. What a luxury.
It got me thinking about what a sweet life we often take for granted. The food, the family and the warmth.
SO many in our community do not have the same basics and would consider what we take for granted as real luxury.
The homeless man who lives in the woods near my house in the tent. The man I see every day at the intersection with a sign asking for food or money. The women who clearly was living out of her car near campus. The family crowded around the space heater -- their only source of heat on a cold evening.
All of these folks live in our community, and to them the possibility of a snow day is not a good thing.
Here in North Carolina more than 17% live at or below the poverty line.
For families with children under 18, the poverty rate was 19.8 percent. For families with children under 5, it was 21.2 percent.
Women and single mothers are at even greater risk. Some 34 percent of households led by women were living in poverty. With children under 18, that statistic jumps to 42.8%. And for single mothers with children under 5 only, it's 51.6 percent – or more than half lived in poverty.
There are many good organizations working to help bring families out of poverty in our community. It is up to each of us to get involved and not turn a blind eye. Oh the possibilities.