53% OF MIDDLETOWN YOUTH REPORT PLACING HIGH VALUE ON PROMOTING EQUALITY AND REDUCING HUNGER AND POVERTY
As we watch the images on television of people starving or suffering from a terrible injustice, the pictures may stir something within us. But that stirring can easily be lost once we turn off the television and walk away. Kids who are concerned about equality and reducing hunger and poverty may or may not know what life is like for those who suffer from these conditions, but they do discover that it’s a good idea to care for people—all people. They care about people they don’t know,who live a world away and who may have many critical needs. They want to do something to make the world a better place.
IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ONE PERSON TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
On a cold December night in 1983, 11-year-old Trevor Ferrell saw a TV newscast about people living on the streets. Those images stirred a compassion deep within Trevor and he pleaded with his parents to take him to downtown Philadelphia so he could give his blanket and pillow to the first homeless person he met. In ensuing weeks, with the help of family, classmates and neighbors, Trevor made nightly trips into Philadelphia to distribute food, clothing and blankets to the needy. Through hundreds of generous citizens and businesses, this little "campaign" soon grew into places to stay and an entire array of services. The dream and compassion of one small boy has taken on a life of its own and become an integral part of the vital services offered to the estimated 24,000 homeless of Philadelphia. For more information about Trevor's Place, visit http://www.trevorscampaign.org/
As many of you know, we have a widely used food pantry in this community called Amazing Grace. Their Families Feeding Families program might be a great way to sustain this message with a young person...
Three additional ideas for building this asset within your family could be:
1. As a family, discuss your views about equality and social justice. Choose one cause to follow and help.
2. Together, write a letter to the editor about a social issue that concerns you.
3. Model this asset by continuing to care for all people.
"When one helps another, both gain strength.” - Ecuadorian proverb
"Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unthinkable." -Anon.
For more information on Developmental Assets or to make a promise to Middletown youth, visit www.assetpromise.org.