Despite the common misperceptions that many Americans have regarding the U.S’s foreign policy spending, only .2% of the U.S.’s total spending is actually given to assist those in extreme poverty abroad. Other wealthy developed countries are more giving and compassionate to the cause. The U.S. should be doing the same.
The U.S. is a world superpower and if everyone works together, that power can be channeled into improving the lives of the less fortunate through funding global poverty reducing programs.
Every contribution could go towards U.S. created programs to improve water quality conditions in resource scarce countries, provide vaccines for preventable epidemics to reduce infant mortality and maternal deaths, build healthcare facilities or provide quality education for young children. Every dollar makes a difference in allowing the implementation of these program types to be successful.
The issue of poverty is widespread. There is a significant amount of homeless people in the United States. While this is true, there is not a lot being done to get some of the homeless people off of the street. New Life Mission founder Reverend Grace Kim, is taking action in her community the best way she can, by helping those who are in need. Reverend Kim is a religious leader and advocate for the homeless.
Reverend Kim felt that God led her to the area that she is in for a reason. Living in one of the poorest areas, downtown Fayetteville, Reverend Kim maintains a homeless shelter for men and women of all ages. New Life Mission is a non profit organization that caters to those who are in need of food and shelter. Reverend Kim believes that poverty is a serious issue in Cumberland and surrounding counties, especially Robeson, which is one of the poorest counties in the United States.
“Some people think of poverty and homelessness as a day job, but it doesn’t go away at night,” Reverend Kim said.
Reverend Kim’s homeless shelter is in an area that has been poverty stricken for many years. She says that the seriousness of poverty is at an all time high. Over the last few years, there have been several robberies at New Life Mission.
“They took the air conditioning units, lawn mowers, so much. That’s why it is hot in the shelter during the summer. We stay warm in the winter because we have a wood burner”, Reverend Kim said. During my interview with Reverend Kim, we both sat with sweat running down our faces and the sun beaming in from the front door. The air was thick and the smell was unforgettable.
Reverend Kim is an expert in the area of homelessness and veteran care. Five years ago, a man by the name of John Kiel came to New Life Mission covered in blood. He had been severely wounded.
“The wound was so bad that I could smell it”, Reverend Kim said.
After a few moments of trying to get an understanding of who the man was. Reverend Kim discovered that he was a veteran and needed medical attention immediately. She took him to the veteran’s hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina where he was denied care. Reverend Kim took the situation into her own hands. She nursed John back to health, and now five years later, he is living at the homeless shelter.
“A lot of veterans are homeless. It’s sad to say, but it is true. I wish I could help them all, but I only have space here for very few. I need help,” Reverend Kim said.
Donations can be made to New Life Mission. Reverend Kim said that she can be contacted at 910-864-4678. She has asked that anyone who would like to volunteer please contact her as soon as possible.
Hear more of John’s story here:
**If you have questions concerning New Life Mission or anything in this article, feel free to email me. Jenking.Jasmin93@gmail.com**
Just taking a ride through Robeson County’s 15 cities: Red Springs, Pembroke, Fairmont, St. Pauls, Maxton, Rowland, Parkton, Orrum, Lumber Bridge, Rennert, Proctorville, Marietta, Rayham, McDonald and Lumberton shows how poverty has engulfed Robeson County. Robeson County is one of the poorest counties in the United States. In an American Community Survey from 2012, 34.50 percent of Robeson County was discovered to be below poverty. There are places in the county that provide help for those who are hungry or in need of shelter. In 2013, the News & Observer published an article about poverty in North Carolina. It was discovered that over a half-million households, in 2012, participated in the food stamp program. In Robeson County, that included 33 percent of families, the third-highest figure in the nation in counties over 65.
The county has the third-highest poverty level in the country for a county its size. Among the issues in the poverty stricken county, lies the issues of hunger and food insecurity. In 2013, 23 percent of Robeson County’s population was food insecure. That is 30,500 people. In the midst of those who are hungry and food insecure, there are children. USDA Economic Research Services showed that 50 million individuals in the United States are food insecure. Seven million of these individuals are children. 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent, Shea DeJarnette said that statewide, the estimate of youth that have food insecurities is one in four. A recent USDA study showed that North Carolina’s hunger numbers are increasing. However, even with the increase over the last few years the USDA is reporting food insecurities statewide at just over 15% which equates more to one in six.
“Kids often do not say “I’m hungry, I don’t get enough to eat.” However when you sit down they eat everything in sight and want more, often you question if it is a growing child or a hungry child”, DeJarnette said. She works at the Robeson County Cooperative Extension (RCCE). RCCE Is affiliated with North Carolina State University and A&T. “I can tell you that Robeson County 4-H works with communities in schools to offer food for their backpack pals program,” DeJarnette said. The backpack pals program gives students in specific elementary schools backpacks of food on Friday so they will have three meals a day over the weekend.
The Church and Community Center in Red Springs helps those who are in need of food. They provide quarterly food boxes and Second Harvest daily.
Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, behavior, and thinking. Nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s or related dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Today, Alzheimer’s is at the forefront of biomedical research.
James Barnes, 86, of Linden, North Carolina was diagnosed with dementia in 2011. He had already had a history of heart problems since early 2005. The dementia diagnosis only added to his rocky medical history. When James was diagnosed with dementia he was at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina being treated for congestive heart failure. It was not until he began to make confusing statements that doctors decided to test James.
Since his diagnosis, James has been living with his youngest daughter, her husband and their four children. To keep his health, memory, and sanity in check, James takes several prescription medications. He takes medicine in the morning and at night. His diet consists of no salt.
One of the challenges of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s is the sudden mood changes.
“One day he is completely calm and the next day he can be very irritable. It all depends on how effective the medicine is, his daughter Christina Pennie said.
James does not know that he has Alzheimer’s. He believes that he is a young boy and still lives with his parents.
“Pa taught me everything I know”, James Barnes said.
Elderly people with Alzheimer’s find joy in being around small children.
“He really loves to play and laugh with his great granddaughter. She keeps him alert and smiling”, Christina said.
Each day is a challenge in the life of James Barnes but with the help of his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren he will be celebrating 87 years of life on April 20, 2016. Alzheimer’s alters a person’s life as it progresses.
We just take each day one step at time, that’s all we can do”, Christina said.
A simple sports physical led to a day that David Cobb will never forget. After having his blood drawn, he became lightheaded and sat down abruptly. Alarmed, the doctor checked his urine sample to see if there were any issues. To David’s surprise, there was a big problem. The doctor found glucose in his urine. Not a good sign. Just weeks later, after fighting for his life in the ICU at Cape Fear Valley Hospital, David was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He was 18 years old and a freshman at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
“It was defintely a shock. I thought I was healthy. I didn’t even know what diabetes was at the time”, David said.
David would have never know how sick he was if it was not for him being unable to complete to a PT test during Air Force ROTC at Pembroke. This caused him to go home for the weekend to reboot. During his visit at home, David enjoyed a browie sunday at the popular restaurant Chili’s. Following the outing, which included his parent’s and his cousin, David went to his cousins house. While there, he fell into a deep sleep. When he woke up, everyone asked was okay, thinking he was just sleepy.
“I was actually completely passed out, but no one knew”, he said.
He passed out a second time. When he awoke the second time, David decided to go home and excercise to see if he would feel any different. He knew something was wrong, but he was avoiding it.
“My dad had me to check my blood sugar, and it was unreadable, so from there is when I went to the hospital and recieved my diagnosis”, David said.
Since finding out he has diabetes, David has been taking good care of himself to stay healthy. He is currently using a pump to provide insulin.
“I have diabetes, diabetes doesn’t have me”, he said.