Home Back Issues December 2007 Take poverty personally

Take poverty personally

| Print |  Email
Archives - December 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007

{safe_alt_text} ROBIN DOUSSARD

As you hide the presents you bought at the after-Thanksgiving sales, plan your holiday meals or sit together with your family inside a warm house, please remember this: There are 141,000 children in Oregon who live in poverty, with more than one-third of those under age 4.

Despite full-time work, the percentage of families with children who are poor continues to grow. Falling wages and rising gas, food and health-care prices mean that 615,000 Oregonians – fully 12% of the state’s population — have fallen into poverty. Poverty for a family of four means an annual household income of  $20,650 a year, or less.

Salem Mayor Janet Taylor knows something about dire statistics. A staggering 63% of the children in the Salem/Keizer area live below the poverty line.  

Taylor helped spearhead the successful effort to win $56 million to build the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, made possible by the $1.5 billion the late McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc left to the Salvation Army. The center will be located in Salem’s Northgate neighborhood, which has the highest-density poor population in Oregon.

Kroc’s mission for her money was simple: relieve the suffering of the poor, communicate dignity, be a beacon of hope.

The indomitable Taylor is one of this year’s recipients of the Oregon Philanthropy Awards. As always, the awards show that the spirit of generosity flows through large companies, such as Bank of America with its Neighborhood Excellence program, to youngsters like 13-year-old Katelyn Tomac Sullivan, who started her own nonprofit and has helped raise $35,000 for cancer research.

This is the season to honor those magnificent people who help make good things happen. It is also the season to help those who need it.

Take the profiles of these philanthropy champions as a challenge. It can be easy to forget, if you are lucky enough not to worry about your own children going hungry, cold or without a doctor, those 141,000 children. If you live in Salem,  for instance, chances are very good they go to school with your children. Perhaps you even know of a family who could use some help.

Take this poverty personally. Oregonians in mid-December will get a check in the mail from the state, a kicker tax rebate. On average, every Oregonian can expect $612. You might be fortunate enough to get more.

Why not take that windfall and give it to those 141,000 children who will not have a warm house or presents this season? Imagine the impact if even half the households getting a refund turned around and gave it to the many nonprofits that help children throughout the state.

You do not need to be a billionaire to be a beacon of hope.

 

More Articles

Q & A with Chuck Eggert

News
Thursday, March 06, 2014
03.06.14 thumb pacfoodsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

The founder of Pacific Foods talks about why his company has flown under the radar in Oregon, how saving a family-run chicken hatchery has helped his bottom line and why he thinks organic food is anything but elitist.


Read more...

Fuel's gold

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY SOPHIA BENNETT

The coastal town of Coos Bay appears poised to land every economic development director’s dream: a single employer that will bring hundreds of family-wage jobs and millions in tax revenue. 


Read more...

The future of money

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JAKE THOMAS

An ancient institution moves slowly into the digital age. 


Read more...

Eking out a living

News
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
04.08.14 thumb ourtable-coopfarmsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.


Read more...

Car ignition recalls and lean product design

Contributed Blogs
Friday, April 11, 2014
04.11.14 thumb gm-gettyTOM COX | OB BLOGGER

The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.


Read more...

Airbnb laws will hurt Portland’s newest company

News
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
airbnb-logoBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Proposed regulations protect Portland’s strict zoning codes and hotel operators, but they may have an adverse effect on Airbnb’s business.


Read more...

Green eyeshades in the ivory tower

News
Friday, April 04, 2014
EducationCosts BlogBY ERIC FRUITS

The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS