The Republican-American ran an article on Thursday, Sept. 28, summarizing a talk given for the United Way at Timexpo by Douglas Hall, associate director of research for Connecticut Voices for Children.
According to the article, 24 percent of Waterbury's children live in poverty, while the median income is $42,000 a year.
Twenty-four percent. It's depressing. There are community centers and other organizations throughout the city that help improve the lives of the kids that have it the hardest. I can only assume that they are giving them the guidance and the skills to make their lives better (but, gee, wouldn't it be nice if the minimum wage were high enough for the parents to not be in poverty despite working full time?).
There have been a few times when I've seen community organizations encourage children to be beggers. That really annoys me. The Long Hill community center sometimes has the kids stand out on the corner hollaring at drivers to put money in buckets for their fund raiser. School groups will sometimes stand outside the grocery store asking for donations. This is not good skill-building. This is teaching the kids that begging works and is perfectly okay. The kids aren't even selling bad candy bars or making a lame effort to wash cars.
I think I'm going to start looking into the different volunteer organizations to see what's going on, and do what I can to help.