dollars and sense
dollars and sense
Tonight, CNN and MTV get together to tell people how they can help the children of Afghanistan. It's actually a message from those very children, asking Americans to help them.
There are several reasons that I have a problem with this.
What message do we send by doing this? My children come home from school wondering why we are bombing a country and then sending them money. My daughter thinks its to make us feel better about ourselves. She's probably right. That's not even the real issue.
Since the bombing started, school children in the USA have raised over a million dollars for the kids of Afghanistan. When was the last time you saw such a gung ho drive to feed the children of America?
I look around and I see homeless shelters and soup kitchens popping up everywhere. Our local church says their food bank empties out monthly. The newspaper's Adopt-a-Family drive for the holidays asks for help for hundreds upon hundreds of families who can barely afford to put a decent dinner on the table. Children are living in motels without the basic supplies needed to get through the school year. They don't have proper winter clothes. People are sleeping on the street and eating out of garbage bags. The line at the free clinic to get vaccinations for children winds down the block and around the corner. There are school districts where children are literally getting lessons in closets. Where the walls are falling down around them and there aren't enough textbooks to go around.
And we are sending over a million dollars to feed the kids of a country we are at war with. How do I explain to my children that our president wants us to feed the children of Afghanistan when they know damn well that at least 5 kids in their class are getting free lunch and wear clothes that come out church bins?
I am not really an isolationist. I don't want to see the kids over there starve to death. I just which as much fervor was put into efforts to keep our own kids healthy and fed.
Charity begins at home, and sometimes it ends there, too. Yes, I have a very narrow view. I know I am not thinking globally. But until all of my neighbors and the children of the country I live in have decent health care and enough food on their tables and the basic necessities of life, I will keep giving my money locally.