Thursday, September 30, 2010

The First Stitches: The Cost of Poverty

There was the family who lived just down the road… They were friends of friends and always smiling and waving as we walked past. Then one day the mom cut her finger at her job. It was pretty serious and she needed stitches.
They couldn’t afford that.

They borrowed some money to make a way, but then her husband had to move to the city to find some additional work to make ends meet. It’s only two hours away, but without any form of transportation, they never got to see one another. One day a group of us from our organization happened to be going to the part of town where he worked. We hired a bus and there was room for a few more… I remember the little boy fell asleep on my lap on the way to town. But he was wide-awake when he arrived; bright-eyed and excited to be seeing Daddy.

Two hours away, and poverty separated a family for months.

Or there was the family who lived in our village. A friend mentioned their story in passing… they’d had a little girl who had a heart problem. They didn’t know how to get her medical help, and they couldn’t afford her surgery. She died.

Hospitals all around, and poverty meant she didn’t have access to the care.

Fundamentally, so many of the social problems we see are rooted in poverty. I work with orphans, and over the last few years I’ve learned that one of the primary reasons children end up in orphanages is because of poverty… families driven to desperate choices by desperate situations.

We started Scarlet Threads not because we thought we could change the world… but because we thought we might be able to help a few families break the cycle and change their circumstances.  We've seen tangible signs of our impact, and we know it can only grow.

Thank you for helping make this possible.

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