Don’t forget kids
It’s up to us to change lives
As Inauguration Day fast approaches, there is a great deal of excitement, paralleled by an abundance of anxiety. No matter which side you tend to lean toward, there will be a new president on Jan. 20, and that does not change our own responsibilities to our local communities.
Our focus should not be on what Washington can do to make a difference in our communities, but on what we can do to bring lasting, positive change to our own neighbors.
—————— According to research conducted by the Barna Group leading up to the 2008 presidential election, “the overall care and resources devoted to children” was considered “absolutely necessary for the U.S. to address within the next 10 years.” I am not going to try to assess whether or not I believe there has been enough focus on this important issue, now eight years later. Nor do I believe we should look to the new administration in speculation as to whether it will do more or less to reach out to our communities and children most in need.
The only way we will see real change happen in our communities is if we the people work to bring about that change.
There is too much at stake for us to wait on others to invest in the lives of our children. Whether you are in local government, a schoolteacher, a concerned parent, a pastor, a Sunday School teacher, or anyone else, you have the ability to make a difference in the life of a child.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta once said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” In honor of that adage, I would say if you can’t help a hundred children, help just one.
Visit community after community across our nation, and it is impossible to deny the necessities countless children go without on a daily basis. Some of these are physical needs such as food and clothing. But very often the most overlooked of these is a child’s need to simply know that somebody loves and cares for them.
As a father myself, it breaks my heart to think about the many, many children who spend day after day with no one to hug them, read to them, encourage them, and teach them everything they will need to know to face the world as an adult. It is our responsibility to fill that gap.
Ichallenge everyone to join me in making outreach to our children a priority, not just this year, but for years to come.
There are numerous ways you can make a difference in a young person’s life. If you are not sure where to start, reach out to your local church, Salvation Army, or 4-H office and volunteer. Even just a few hours a week can make a big difference in the life of a child. Short on time? Contact your local schools and ask if they have a food pantry you can donate to regularly.
There are countless ways you can make a difference, but the first step is to decide you will not stand by and wait for others to act. Let’s make this the year every child in Arkansas has all the love and resources they need to succeed!