Posted by Mark Quinn at 11/13/2015 1:00:00 PM
Poverty stinks. No matter how you look at it, no matter how people got trapped in poverty, it is a horrible life to live. Some people make decisions that land them in the pit, and others end up there because they were dealt a bad hand, but slice that up any way you like, it’s still a bad way to live for anyone. You can look at the behavior of some adults and justify that they deserve where they are because of how they live their life so they need to suck it up, own their circumstances, and put themselves on a better path. But you can’t really say that about the kids that are truly victims in the matter.
When you look into the eyes of a kid that is wearing clothes that haven’t been washed in days, and know that they are going home on Friday to a home that more than likely isn’t going to have any food on the table for most of the weekend, it is hard not to have compassion for that kid. It doesn’t matter how the parents wound up in a state of poverty, the kid did NOTHING to deserve that life and because of being in that environment, their chance to succeed in life drops drastically. It doesn’t have to be that way and thanks to Bright Futures it isn’t for many.
I sit on the board of Bright Futures USA because I know what is happening in the communities where the faith groups get together with educators and local businesses to rally around kids that need help. If someone is willing to give a kid time and work with them on their reading or writing, or make up a back pack for these kids to take home so that they have food in their bellies over the weekend, then we are giving these kids a chance. A chance to live a different life and a chance to become a better version of themselves.
I can’t be with every kid that needs help, but I can do my part in helping this organization grow. It’s simple really, the more communities that join the Bright Futures program, the more kids that are going to get help. The kind of help that can absolutely change the trajectory of their life. Many of these kids don’t have anyone telling them that they love them or showing them that they matter. Bright Futures reaches out and makes the kind of impact that can take these kids who haven’t done anything to deserve a life of poverty, and gives them something special to hold on to.
People made fun of me at the last Bright Futures USA conference because I was the emcee and could barely get through it. Every time I started a new part of the program, I was so choked up I could barely read. Hearing the stories of these kids really opened my eyes. I can’t begin to tell what it was like to meet the heroes in our program that go way above and beyond to make a positive impact on these kids. The educators on the front line and in the classroom. The volunteers in the churches and the people from the local businesses doing everything they could to help this program grow. I was humbled and grateful to be a small part of what is happening and to be in the presence of these people. There is no one more deserving of a fair chance in life than our kids and this organization has a heart for them and their future. Let’s make sure it is a BRIGHT one.