Archive | June, 2010

Poverty and Justice

30 Jun

There are some helpful thoughts in an article here (at an Australian Catholic website) on what poverty really is and important ways that it can and should be addressed.  The article doesn’t mention Appalachia, but it certainly could, because most of what the author has to say is very applicable to the circumstances, history, and society here.

Here’s a snippet:

But, as the economist and philosopher Amartya Sen has argued, primary goods don’t necessarily translate into substantive freedoms. Poverty is not a one dimensional affliction.Communities enduring poverty are almost always torn by multiple afflictions, for example, ethnic or class discrimination or corruption. A person in a poor community may not simply suffer from a lack of primary goods (food, shelter, healthcare), but also from various forms of discrimination or poor access to institutional protection. In India, for example there are on average 11 judges for every 1 million people.

Is it possible to conceive another way of thinking and talking about overcoming the harm we see caused by poverty?

Perhaps a more holistic and far reaching approach — and a different mantra — can be found in the idea of ‘justice’. People’s desire to assist poor communities — to ‘make poverty history’ — surely arises out of a sense of injustice. So any campaign to lift people out of poverty is moved by a desire for justice. By making ‘justice’ the stated goal of the ‘anti-poverty’ movement, success would be measured not only by material outcomes, such as  the quantity of aid delivered or the number of schools opened, but by the impact made on people’s lives.


Prayers and aid for a family in need

18 Jun

We’d ask your prayers for the family of a Kermit man who died tragically in a drowning accident a few days ago.  Alex was only 20 years old.  His mother Mina is a frequent and beloved volunteer here at Christian Help.

Her volunteering here is especially worth noting because she and her family don’t have much more than the clients we serve every day, and yet she comes often to do what she can to help others. 

I mention this because the funeral costs will be much more than the family can bear.  Christian Help has already paid a large sum toward these costs, and we’d be happy to pass along more donations if you’d like to help out.  You can do that by putting a check in the mail to Christian Help of Mingo County, P.O. Box 1257, Kermit, WV 25674.   Include a note that your donation is for funeral costs.

Thank you for considering it.

Furniture delivery

16 Jun

Our friends from Appalachian Outreach arrived today with a truck load of furniture and other household items.  These will be distributed to people in need here in northern Mingo County. 

Many of those you see in these photos are our staff, but we also had a nice group of volunteers here this morning to help with unloading.  We do have to pay a not-insignificant fee to receive these deliveries, so our financial supporters are also among those who “helped out” today.  Thank you!

Latest issue of Christian Help newsletter

15 Jun

The most recent issue of Christian Help’s print newsletter went out in the mail last week.  You can view of .pdf file of the entire newsletter by clicking here.