The Giving Season [Parents, December 2013]

One in five American children lives in poverty.

Every time I type that statistic, I feel stunned all over again.

For the past two years, I’ve been reporting one of those endless labor-of-love stories where I’m following several mothers of those children and trying to understand the constant onslaught of impossible decisions they are forced to make. That piece will hopefully be out early next year and I’ll tell you lots more about it then.

But in the meantime, I was delighted when Parents Magazine asked me to write a feature called “The Giving Season” for their December issue. My editor’s idea was pretty simple: Make sure their 2.2 million readers know just how common childhood poverty has become — and encourage us all to do something to fight it this holiday season.

I profiled eight nonprofits doing ground-breaking, important work on poverty and the entire gamut of issues it creates. And we asked them what they need most, in terms of donations. Here are some of my favorite ways you can help right now:

  • Donating $120 to Feeding America will make sure one family eats for three months.
  • A $50 donation to Children’s Health Fund buys asthma medication for one child.
  • $25 will supply a year’s worth of crayons and papers to a classroom participating in Jumpstart’s early education intervention program.
  • Even $1 will allow Share Our Strength to connect a hungry child with ten meals.

You can get more ideas and read about the amazing work of these and the other nonprofits by reading the article. Then join Parents editor-in-chief Dana Points in her one-in-five experiment.  And even if you can’t give money this year — or actually, even if you can — you can help by writing your legislators and telling them why it’s so important that we commit to ending childhood poverty right now.

We’ve made this super easy for you: Find their contact info here and then send them this letter.

Filed under Government Watch, Happenings, Press

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