The War on Poverty
My Americorps*VISTA orientation in Denver has come to a close, and I have now been sworn in as an official VISTA member/volunteer. Our departure is bittersweet, though, as we have all made some pretty great connections with other like-minded individuals serving throughout the Southwest. I have personally met some pretty amazing people, all of whom are fighting to end unnecessary poverty in the United States.
While I will be working to help connect people with disabilities to affordable housing options in my project area (Waco, Texas), some others will serve in other ways, from running a furniture bank for the economically disadvantaged, to assisting former prison inmates in their job search, to developing family literacy programs in impoverished communities.
The challenge of the coming year is something I can only just imagine today, as I begin my year of service. But a problem as damaging to our society as poverty is one that requires help from every person possible. This afternoon, as we prepared to take our oath of service, a quote from Nelson Mandela was read to us, that I found rather profound:
“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”