In the past 2 weeks, FATE has donated $3500 to hunger relief organizations in 3 states. This will hopefully provide much needed resources for our neighbors in need. While Wall Street may be thriving, main street continues to face significant obstacles with slow job growth, wage stagnation, and an increased cost of living. So, thank you for your contributions.
During this same period, I was asked why and how I do what I do. How much do I make? What is the point of continuing to do what I do? Am I making a difference?
I can’t answer all of these questions. But, I’ll give them a shot.
For starters, I do not make much money. I try to ensure that I give away more than I take in and this month, I’m giving away a bit more than 3x what I’m getting paid. There are expenses, as with any business, including things like pay roll taxes, rent, utilities, office supplies, travel expenses, etc. However, in paying for these things, we are able to generate resources for others AND inspire action from the masses and provide exposure for the cause. That perhaps is the most important; to have the press write about what happens which spurs action by more people. Nothing changes without us first actively CHOOSING to be a catalyst for that change.
What is the point? Well…to be blunt, it’s what I know how to do and there’s comfort in that. Sure, I’d love to be able to bring home more bacon. Who wouldn’t? But, thanks to people in my life, I can live simply and remain dedicated to this cause. My rent is affordable and I have a roommate. My car was a gift from my aunt. That’s two payments that most people have that I do not. So, I’m able to keep costs relatively low.
But, the point is to keep the fires lit for folks who may fall on hard times. If I were a practicing Christian, I would likely quote Jesus’ mantra that we’re only as good as the least among us and that it is our duty to tend to them. So, perhaps my own life’s learning’s have reflected that in a similar manner, but from a multitude of sources, mainly experience.I do it for Claire…
Claire was married and did the books for her husband’s contracting business. They were getting by just fine and able to support home ownership and raise a couple kids. Well, then Claire found herself a single mom b/c her husband chose not to be married to her any longer. Despite her best efforts, Claire could not afford the rising cost of living associated with being the sole breadwinner and she got no support from her ex. She shamefully would go to the local church Pantry to get a box of food for her children. This was after taking them to McDonald’s where she would give up her own meal so she could afford theirs. When they asked why she wasn’t eating, it was b/c her stomach was upset. She just wasn’t hungry.
Claire is your neighbor. She’s your friend. She’s next to you in the bank line. She’s holding the door for you at the grocery store. Her kids are best friends with yours. And they deserve what every other child in America deserves which is the chance to live freely and thrive in this great nation. And it is an abomination that they should struggle to access food.
Hunger is silent. Hunger does not announce itself. But it is there. And we should not shame those that need help. We all struggle with something in our lives. So, why must our elected officials and many of their supporters demonize those that are down on their luck. It’s shameful to know that.
What is the point of my work, you ask? To work to hopefully make sure that Claire and her kids can have access to enough food without ridicule so that they can weather the hard times and get back on their feet. No one is proud of asking for help. It’s not easy to do. But, sometimes it’s necessary.
Am I making a difference? I can’t answer that. But maybe you can. You can answer that by understanding that poverty and hunger is not a disease or a choice. It’s not laziness and does not deserve ridicule. And there’s a cure. It’s on the grocery store shelves. It’s in your wallet or your bank account. And it’s with your time and your voice that you can volunteer and advocate for this cause.
I would like to not have this job, ideally. Sure, the music is fun. But, I don’t want to have to ask artists to support this cause. I would just like to go to a show and rock out. My preference is that there is no hunger…I guess I’m not making enough of a difference until that’s the case. And I will be fighting this fight till that’s the case or I expire doing so. That I can promise you.
And if you would like to support the cause, it’s as easy as sharing this with your networks and asking them to give what they can. Whether it’s time, money, or their voice. The more people know, the easier our job becomes.