NWA Poverty Challenge-Final Thoughts: Brook Thomas

Why We Are Failing.

I believe I have failed the #NWAPovertyChallenge. Yes, I bought a week’s worth of food based on $5 per day per person. Yes, we managed to make that food last. No, Adelaide didn’t go hungry. Neither did Meredith or I.

And yet…I feel like I failed. 

We live in a community that I often boast as being the most philanthropic place you’ll ever know. You can’t go out in NWA for the weekend without stumbling across some sort of charity event or gala. You can’t swing a golf club here without it being some sort of fundraiser. You can’t take a run on one of our amazing trails without it raising awareness for something.

However, if you are under the age of five (like my sweet Adelaide) and live in NWA, you have a one in four chance of living in poverty. In fact, nearly half of all the children in NWA are living in “low-income” homes.

If that doesn’t make you feel like you’re failing too, then you are asleep at the wheel.

Wake Up!

Take a look at this report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. I’m sure Laura Kellams won’t mind my pushing her work in front of you.

And here’s the 2015 NWA Homeless report by Dr. Kevin Fitzpatrick.

Theses reports are only a little more than a year old and they are clearly pointing to major infrastructure changes that we need to address, now, to break the cycle of poverty. Let me point out just three that I believe are key

Better public transportation

Better health care programs (mental health care included)

Invest in education for our children

Start paying attention, NWA, to the growing problem that is poverty. Because it is here, in your streets, in your churches, in your schools…in your community.

Only together will we truly triumph.

#NWAPovertyChallenge

To make an immediate impact. Please donate food or funds. NWA children should never know what hunger feels like.

NWA Food Plus Drive Information

Brook Thomas 2

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