Poverty has a profound effect on people and can cause ripples throughout communities. I've been very fortunate - although I've been called to make tough choices growing up and during the years I worked in the non profit sector, I've had a roof over my head and access to a superb education.
Poverty is affecting society, the enormous hole left by possibilities that go unrealized becomes even greater with our discomfort in acknowledging the gap. The rapid aging of the population in the Western hemisphere and the failing of public systems contribute to increasing demands on individuals. Many of us are called upon to assist our families in two directions for the future - children and parents.
Can we change the conversation on poverty with action? How can we tie our personal goals with helping others? What can we offer the world?
On October 15, 2008, hundreds of blogs and millions of readers will publish the results of their efforts and reach out to their readers and communities. I reached out to Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, one of the top blogs active in support of this initiative, for his take on this global conversation:
"It's frustrating for those who would like to take action to help those in extreme poverty, in our own countries and in Third World countries where billions are in extreme poverty, starving, or dying of preventable illnesses. What is needed is for us to take action, but individually, it's so hard to make a difference when the problem is so overwhelming.
In large numbers, we can not only help - we can greatly reduce the problem. The First World, for example, has the power to wipe out so much of this suffering with action by the elected officials of our countries. That's the power of this global conversation. By getting people talking, we are creating the impetus for change."
If you are considering participation, go ahead and register your blog and join 1,839 plus blogs that have already signed up, globally. These charitable organizations are affiliated with the event:
- The Global Fund with donations accepted via Change.org (FAQs on how your donation will be processed here)
- Kiva.org (for tracking purposes, use email@example.com as your referrer)
- Any other charity you may be working with (tally via receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org)
It is estimated that the world population as of July 2008 is about 6.684 billion. Thus far, Blog Action Day is reaching 3.2 million readers/listeners. That is less than a quarter of a percent. (In calculating it, I was reminiscent of some of my marketing budgets.)
I believe a determined group of people can change the conversation for the better. Our first action step is awareness - talking about it. Your voice counts and so do actions. Last year Blog Action Day took on the topic of the Environment - we discussed how social media is greening the planet here. Go sign up now and join the conversation on poverty, October 15. You can make a difference.
This is the kind of list that is worth belonging to. Will companies and agencies with blogs participate?