Thursday, February 26, 2009

Listening with my heart....

There probably hasn't been a time that there wasn't hunger in America. Like trouble, there always seems to be enough bad news to go around and everyone gets some. Wouldn't it be wonderful if good news could out weigh the bad? I rarely speak out on issues that across my line of vision. I choose to have my blog not be a soapbox for cause, but today my heart tells me "you must speak out". These little bandits are 2 of my grandsons. You've seen them before, happy, well fed and well loved. They don't go hungry.
 This is my youngest grandchild, first granddaughter Hailey Marie. She's being held by her godfather, my youngest son. She's well fed, well loved and a happy baby. She doesn't go hungry altho baby formula is over $20- a tin.
 This is my sweet youngest grandson. He turned one on the 20th of February. He's well fed, well loved and a very happy smiling baby. He doesn't go hungry. Only one parent is currently working at his house, a combination of choice and of change. Her job ended with the school cutting staff last fall.So far they are managing.
 And these are some my far-away grandchildren. I know their parents are stretched pretty thin financially, since Hailey joined the family in July. They have 3 children under 4 years, two in diapers. But the children are well fed, well loved and happy. They don't go hungry.
And to the extent I'm able, I'll make sure none of my grandchildren go hungry. That's what my heart tells me is the right thing. I couldn't feed myself if I thought they were in need.
So here's my soapbox plea, please listen with your heart and maybe not your ears. Many critics are saying that families who need food stamps or food pantry or both are lazy, or undermotivated, or just looking for a handout. And maybe that is true, but should the children be the ones who pay??? Should the children go without food based on a critical comment?
In Elkhart, Indiana, with the closing of DHL industry, many families who formerly provided for themselves, and help others, have become the newest people in need. How painful to go from volunteering at the local food shelves or pantry to standing in line for a bag of groceries. There is NO shame in being hungry, or feeding your children and grandchildren.
Yes, more than one who was interviewed is also providing for grandchildren now living under their roof. As I would, helping provide for my children and grandchildren.
If you have a corp. connection and can offer food donations in large amounts,contact the Feed the Children by going to www.feed the Earlier today 4,000 10 pound bags of potatoes were donated, picked up by the Helping the Children semi and are being delivered to Elkhart, IN. The Feed the Children Foundation will take money, but I'm not asking you to do that. What I would love is to have is a group of loving quilters and bloggers join me and get a bag of groceries to your LOCAL food pantry. Or a cash dontation at your LOCAL level to help the food pantries buy milk and fruit to go with the bags.
In my county in WI, Pierce, we have a government/co. sponsored food shelf. They feed many of our elderly, and as many others as they are able, based on donations. They receive donations from corporations such as Kellogg or General Mills, and goverment surplus such as rice and macaroni. Many donations come in from concerned citizens.
In my valley, we have a local food pantry, run by the churches. You need proof of address, and a pay stub to prove you're local, and we feed many even in our little 1,000 population village.
If you've never donated before, roll up your sleeves and grab a can or two of something you can spare. A cake mix, a box of cereal or a can of tuna. No donation is too small. Based on what we spend to feed and care for our precious kitty friends, how can a person bear the thought of fellow citizens, Americans, faced with the possibility of not being able to feed their children?? I can't and I hope you can't either. Thanks for being there *VBS* Hugs for all, Finn
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Michele Bilyeu said...

A meaning-filled and provoking as it should be post, Finn! This is something that hurts me as much as all of the inadequacies in our world. I have learned that it is the poorest of the poor or those in the 'grey area' whose hearts are often the biggest. I keep a special bag just for 'giving' and try to tithe a can or a box after grocery shopping or each time I go through the pantry cupboards. Oregon has an over 9% unemployment rate right now, and our own home building industry plummetted to literally almost nothing. For all those affected by our own small businesse's inability to find work, there is an enormous trickle down effect. But you have touched the very bottom line...hunger. No one should go hungry while any of us has food to offer. Thank you for a reminder we needed to remember. Like many, even when hurting, we still have more than we need and can share.

Lynn Dykstra said...

You are right--such need and so close. Our neighborhood here in Chicago has always been a modest one, but with very low unemployment and stable housing. That is changing, and we must all step to the plate to take care of each other. The same at our church--many generous people are now in need. We never know when we will need to accept help.

Greenmare said...

you are so right! I tell miss V, we can't really feed the hungry children across the world but we can help the ones in our area, any little thing we can do, we should!

meggie said...

A good call for a good cause Finn. Over here we have all dug deep for the bushfire victims. There are other needy too, but so far we have fared better than a lot of other countries.

Scrappy quilter said...

You are absolutely right. I'm so glad you have spoken out and are nudging us to give more. Hugs..

Tracey in CT said...

So true. Thank you for the reminder. Every single time I walk into the grocery store I purchase a few items to put into the box for the local food pantry. I figure that we are so fortunate, it only makes sense to help those who are not so fortunate.

Ms. Jan said...

Some things just have to be said. In times like this, we must take care of each other. My husband and I are monthly donors to the local food bank and several of our kids donate in our names instead of birthday and Christmas gifts as well. It doesn't take a lot of cash to make a huge difference in the lives of others. Recently, our paper had a feature on how much food the bank could buy with even a small cash donation. Food is good too! Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Finn, and the kids are darling as ever.

Libby said...

Giving what we can, where we can, as often as we can will help us all through the tough times that are with us now. I'm so grateful to be able to be a help in any small way I can. Thanks for reminding us all that the need is great.

Kim said...

Excellent blog today Finn!
If more people would help when they can with what they can there's nothing this country can't do.
For many years I worked with the local food bank and Girl Scouts-collecting cereals one month- soup/pasta the next etc etc.
My favorite collection was a birthday party in a bag.
It was so much fun- cake mixes/frosting sprinkles etc- juice/cups plates cups napkins and a small gift for the bday child. ALways so much fun to put together and they always went so quickly.
It's very sad that people who were the volunteers are using the services now.
I hope that readers of your blog get together with some friends and do some collecting.
I'll bring it up to Pastor on Sunday also- Sunday School needs a Lenten project.

Chris Daly said...

Nicely said Finn. I'm glad you got up on that soapbox! I'm also glad you are feeing better.

Imee Rocks said...

great, thought provoking post. you have very cute grandchildren, by the way. :) life in the states is getting harder, isn't it? not that it's never happened before. as you said, there's always been hunger in america, and the rest of the world i might add. it's good that food banks/pantries and government food stamp grants have been around for quite a while.


jovaliquilts said...

What a wonderful post. For years I worked on the board of our local food bank. For one project I traveled to food pantries all over the region and heard some incredible stories. One of our most active volunteers had been a recipient herself, and now that she's back on her feet, she's helping others who are where she used to be. We cannot turn our backs on those in need in our communities.

QuiltedSimple said...

What a great post Finn! And it's something so easy to do - I know I"m cleaning out my pantry this weekend - and I'll be wondering what I can donate to someone in need:) Thanks for a reminder!

Granny Lyn said...

From your blog to America's heart!!

It is through giving that we receive the sweetest gifts!!

thank you for this blog

Carolyn said...

Thanks for a beautiful and timely post, Finn! We regularly contribute to our local food pantry through our church and will continue to do so. Back in the fall, Weight Watchers had a "Lose for Good" campaign and I was the organizer in our center. Our members donated almost 700 pounds of food, which I loaded in my car and took to the shelter. I've never seen such grateful hearts. They really had nothing left. I went back in the winter with our winter coats, hats and gloves that weren't being used and donated those...our shelter feeds and clothes a large homeless population as well. It's good to have the reminder to give...I'll step it up once again. Thanks!

Unknown said...

From your 'pen' to the eyes of America: thank you very much dear friend.

Some people here have actually formed a food bank for pet foods. Many people have had to give up their 4 legged family members because of the lack of food for them.

I am getting ready to start seeds and plan my own "Victory Garden" for this growing season. Last year, no less than 10 families got food and herbs from my little patches.

Point being: we can do it!

Bless you, Finn.

Jean said...

Very nice Finn. We too have been helping the local food bank. Working with the little children at our Church, we had a food drive a couple of months back that brought in a lot of food. It was great to see what our local neighbors did for the food bank. I would suppose that all that food is gone by now. We do what we can.
Nothing wrong with standing on your soap box... your heart is in the right place!