A changing society….
I was raised in an upper middle class family in California. I’ve been working for most of my life. I’ve never really had a problem getting a job. But, in the last few years, not only has it become harder to get and hold a job, but the rate of pay has changed drastically as well. I moved to Texas because of the better cost of living. In the last decade my rate of pay went from a high of $52,000 per year to less than $10,000 per year. I’m not complaining because I was blessed to have a job and a roof over my head. I just use this as an illustration to show that if a person raised in an upper middle class family can so easily fall below poverty level, it can happen to anyone. The disappearance of middle class America is a bit of shock for those of us raised in it.
About three years ago I worked for HEB in Austin Texas. They host an annual event called The Feast of Sharing where a Thanksgiving meal is prepared and served to thousands of people for free. I volunteered to work that day and was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people coming in to eat. We had anticipated serving 5,000 meals, but had nearly 10,000 people show up. People from every walk of life came hoping for a good dinner.
The following year my church decided to help feed the hungry for Thanksgiving. We joined the “church under the bridge” ministry in Austin, Texas for that meal. There were hundreds of people there lining up to get something to eat. Old people, young people, little children–whole families…what struck me the most at these two events was that there was no difference between myself and the person who needed a meal except that I had a job.
When you look into the face of someone just like yourself who is not able to eat or feed his/her family because they lost their job in the recession it will forever change the way you think.
At A Joseph Project one of our main ministries is to be able to establish free community gardens; places where someone can regain a little dignity by working the soil to produce their own food as well as to feed their bodies.
If you can help us to raise the money to purchase the land and provide the seeds and tools necessary to launch our ministry, please donate now.
If you see a need for such a ministry in your area, please contact us and tell us about it.
We’re not giving a hand out; we’re giving a hand up.