More charities for Americans

By Kasey Kidd

We are pressured by charities every day of our lives. They request that people give help or relief to the poor and the needy. A person who donates to a needy cause or helps to build a welcoming habitat for one to live in is viewed as a very admirable person. Despite the campaigns to help people, the vast majority of charities and mission trips are focused on helping those in other countries rather than our own people.

I often see villages of starving children living in shacks made of sticks and clay while watching television. These children are standing next to a celebrity pleading for just a few cents each day or sometimes an adoption by the viewers. These campaigns raise money and support for families and orphans in third world countries that are much less privileged than the average American citizen. As someone who lives the idolized and often greedy American lifestyle, I feel sympathetic and thus obligated to help.

I constantly hear stories about my friends and acquaintances going to other countries in different continents on church related mission trips. When they return home, they show me pictures from African and South American countries that portray their efforts to create a better standard of living in those communities. The only country that I have not heard of them helping is America.

I am aware that there are many organizations and efforts put forth by churches to help America. I think that any person who volunteers their time, effort and money to a respectable cause is a very admirable person. However, I am concerned about the overpopulation and the homelessness rates within the United States. While visiting Chicago, Atlanta, and even Indianapolis, I have noticed a shocking number of people who are without homes. These American citizens do not live in a shack that they can refer to as a “home” — they live on window ledges, underneath interstate bridges and in parks. I cannot stomach the sight of a person on the side of a busy roadway with a sign begging for work or alms. It is sad that this is so prevalent in what is supposed to be one of the greatest countries in the world.

My curiosity is this: Why does it seem that America is concentrating more time and money on other countries when our own country needs it as well? I believe that our citizens should reprioritize their contributions and look at their own towns and the living conditions present within them.

Unfortunately, the organizations created with the purpose of curbing America’s homeless population are not putting a significant enough dent into the statistics. It will never be completely avoidable but a larger effort needs to be made towards fixing the problem. Once our own country has undergone changes leading to improvement I would see no problem with focusing most efforts on other countries.

Kasey Kidd is an Anderson resident.

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