November 16, 2011

Eating Humble Pie (November 16, 2011)

On Monday, I started my blog with "Blech!" and then went on to whine about how hard done by I was feeling.  Don't get me wrong, I was definitely in a yucky state of mind and felt pretty bad . . . but it's time to eat a little humble pie.  Click here if you want to read that blog called "Sick, Tired & Broke".

It wasn't until after I posted the blog that a couple of things happened to shake me up and put things in perspective.  First, I received a telephone call from a wonderful woman with a heart of gold, who happens to be a single Mom of two kids.  She works multiple jobs to simply get by.  Recently, she was able to pull together a small buffer of a few hundred bucks (which took several months to save) only to have her car tires ruined and have to replace them to the tune of $700!  Why did she call me?  She wanted to know if there was anyway that she could help me.  Help ME???  I should be offering to help her!!! Like I said, she has a heart of gold.  Second, I saw a Facebook conversation between two ladies offering moral support to each other in their difficult financial walk as single Moms.  Both live on federal benefits that are simply not sufficient while also needing to rely on food hampers, clothing circles, and child support (that is often late or missed).  Both have to worry about losing the roof over their heads.  Yikes . . . what the heck was I complaining about!?!

The plight of the single mother and her kids is not talked about nearly enough.  These families are disproportionately in poverty in both the "developed" world and the "developing world".  Even here in wealthy Canada, the median net worth of single-mother families in 2009 was $17,000 (the lowest net worth of any family type in Canada . . . and less than 25% of the median net worth of single-father families). Source -  According to one report also from 2009, 51.6% of single-mother Canadian families live in poverty.  Source - Women's Legal Education & Action Fund 
The reasons cited for this situation include caregiving responsibilities, pay inequity, and inadequate government programs. 

In order to alleviate poverty one has to address the plight of mothers.  Study after study has shown that investment in girls and women has a positive impact on poverty, the welfare of the family, and development of communities.  I came across a very interesting study today put out by Save the Children entitled the The 2011 Mothers' Index in which all countries are ranked according to where it is best to be a mother, woman, or child.  Norway ranks #1 as the best place to be a mother (Canada is #20; USA is #31), while Australia is #1 place to be a woman (Canada is #14; USA is #24), and Sweden is #1 place to be a child (Canada is #24; USA is #34).  Afghanistan ranks in last place in all of these categories. 

We need to help those in need wherever we can, make mothers and children priorities, and speak out on their behalf to our leaders. 

Phase II - Struggles of the Working Poor Daily Report
Day 15 (November 15th)

Weight at Beginning of Project:  233 lbs
Weight at End of Phase One:  216 lbs
Weight at Start of Phase Two: 221 lbs
Weight at Start of Today:  216 lbs
Available Funds:   $0.00 (leftover) + $8.00 (Nov 15) = $8.00
Funds Spent Today:  $8.00
Remaining Funds:   $0.00

New Loan:  $0.00
Loan Due Today: $30.27
Loan Payment:   $8.00
Outstanding Loan: $22.27 @ 1.5% per day . . .  $22.60 due on Day 16

Items Purchased:   Nil
Free Stuff:  Lunch (as part of work), Cup of Tea

Gas Purchased* & Remaining:  $0.00 (i.e. 0.00 litres @ $1.129 per litre . . . 0.0 km @ 10 km/litre) + 0.49 litres (gas remaining) = 0.49 litres (4.9 km)
Driving Today:  3 km (i.e. 0.0 litres)
Gas Remaining:  0.19 litres (i.e. 1.9 km)
*Will not include any fuel or driving related to work that is paid for by work.

Hey!! I'm That Poverty Guy . . . let's make a world of difference together.

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