Friday, December 30, 2011

Childhood Poverty in America

"Oh my God! I'm starving!" 
"If I don't eat, I'm gonna die."

How often do we spew out these words? How often do we whine and complain because our lunch plans have been delayed an hour or so? We many times proclaim that we are "starving," "ravenous," "dying of hunger."

But what does it really mean to be starving? To go to sleep hungry? To not know if the next meal will come, and if it does, what it will even be?

Ask the 19.8% of school-age American children who are living below the poverty line.

If you break that statistic down, it means that 1 in 5 American school children are considered poor. (This does not even factor in the "working poor" and those struggling to make ends meet).

Get Involved:
-Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank
-Hold a food drive and collect non-perishable items
-Talk to local restaurants about collecting unused food and donating it

Read More:
-Learn about Child Hunger in your community
-Check out New Ideas to help make a difference
-Read My Mother's Car to hear one child's story of poverty
-Read Hope for Children in Poverty: Profiles and Possibilities

Phrases of Action:
What is the poverty line?
Currently in the US, it is an income of $22,314 per year for a family of four.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Recent studies show that 13% of teens admit to bullying.
An additional 6% of teens admit to bullying and being bullied.
In all, there are about 19% of teens bullying.

So, about 1 out of 5 students will bully another student.

Well we could stop there. 

Or we can turn to the rest. To the 81%
The 4 out of 5 students who know bullying is happening.
The 4 out of 5 students who are not bullied.
The 4 out of 5 students who are watching.
The 4 out of 5 who could be leaving an Active Handprint.

The number of students who can stop bullying far outweighs the number of bullies. So why are students not standing up for each other? 

Many are afraid the bully will turn on them. Many are afraid of being associated with the person being bullied. Many are afraid of what their friends will think if they stand up for another person (it takes a lot to stand up to a bully; it takes even more to stand up to your own friends). And then there are many teens who want to help but don't know how...

First ask yourself: 
How would I feel if that were me? Would I be okay with everyone walking by? Would I want someone to stand up for me? Would I want help? 

Get involved:
The number of non-bullied students outnumbers the bullies. SO DO SOMETHING!

Local students suggested:
-Tell a teacher, guidance counselor, parent, principal if you see bullying
-Inform students about reporting bullying incidents
-Have an assembly to talk about standing up for others
-Learn what it is like to be bullied 
-Challenge your friends to stand up to bullying too
-Don't use derogatory terms towards your enemies OR your friends  
-Don't joke about bullying
-Follow @StopBullying on twitter
-Write your own story about bullying
-Make a poster like the one below to bring awareness to the topic

Read More:
-Learn more about bullying 
-Read stories of those who have been there and those who want to stop it
-Read Dear Bully-- a collection of short stories where authors tell about their experiences with bullying  

"First They Came for the Jews" 
By Pastor Niemoller 

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Our Mission

Our Mission at Active Handprint is to inspire actions that help to meet the basic needs of all human beings--to be fed, to be clothed, to have shelter, to be respected and to be safe.