Just Thinking

October 5, 2012

My wife and I were watching TV

 

Last week

 

 

And she made a very

 

Astute observation

 

 

“How come all we hear about

 

 

 

In the Presidential election

 

 

 

Is the middle class

 

 

 

 

Did everyone stop talking…..

 

 

 

 

About the Poor?”

 

 

 

 

 

We hear about the top 2%

 

 

 

And

 

 

 

The middle class

 

 

 

What are we doing about the poor?

 

 

 

 

Are they now the middle class…

 

 

 

Want to hear some sobering facts?

 

 

 

There have been

 

48 murders…..

 

 

 

In Camden, NJ

 

 

So far this year

 

 

 

Camden has gained the title of….

 

 

 

America’s most dangerous city

 

 

 

Camden is about 7 miles

 

From where I am sitting

 

 

 

Let’s look at some of the facts:

 

  • 13 homicides in July – the most deadly month since a shooting spree in 1949
  • Murder rate was ten times New York City in 2011 — and on pace to be even higher this year
  • More than half of children live below the poverty line as the city is ravaged by drugs
  • Police department forced to cut one third of officers in 2011 and arrests dropped to less than half of what they were in 2009

 

 

 

I am using Camden

 

 

As an example

 

 

Because it is

 

 

Close to home

 

 

 

There are many families hurting

 

 

Not only in Camden….

 

 

 

But in all across…

 

 

The United States

 

 

 

In cities

 

 

And

 

 

 

In small towns

 

 

 

 

There are independent programs

 

 

Set up

 

 

To help these people…..

 

 

 

Mostly non profits

 

 

With Church affiliations

 

 

 

Providing food

 

 

Temporary Shelter

 

 

 

 

Working with youth

 

 

Helping them to

 

 

Believe in their abilities

 

 

 

 

Teaching them

 

 

You can make a difference

 

 

 

 

Aspire,

 

 

 

Don’t settle

 

 

 

 

But there is no grand effort

 

 

 

 

No coordinated

 

 

Vision

 

 

 

To make a difference

 

 

 

 

 

To lift these people up

 

 

 

 

Yes,

 

 

There is unemployment

 

 

Disability

 

 

Food Stamps

 

 

And

 

 

Other Government assistance programs

 

 

 

 

But what are we doing

 

 

As a whole….

 

 

 

To lift the poor in spirit

 

 

 

 

Give them the opportunity

 

 

To live

 

 

To Share

 

 

 

 

The American dream

 

 

 

 

Whatsoever you do

 

 

To the least of my brethren

 

 

 

That you do unto me

 

 

 

 

I think we are all familiar with that line

 

 

 

 

 

What are we doing to help…..

 

 

The poor?

 

 

 

 

We all take our lives for granted

 

 

 

 

What we fail to realize is that…..

 

 

 

Every Day is a Gift

 

 

 

 

 

I am a product of Catholic Schools

 

 

 

They taught the….

 

 

 

 

 

The 7 Corporal Works of Mercy

 

 

  • Feed the Hungry
  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Cloth the naked
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Comfort the imprisoned
  • Visit the sick
  • Bury the dead

 

 

 

What have we been doing….

 

 

 

With the gifts that we have been given?

 

 

 

 

Many years ago

 

 

As man evolved

 

 

They realized

 

 

The only way

 

 

They could sustain

 

 

Continue to grow

 

 

And Survive

 

 

Would be by

 

 

Helping each other

 

 

 

There was no….

 

 

Bigger

 

 

Better

 

 

Stronger

 

 

 

 

They all worked together

 

 

They Realized that they….

 

 

 

All needed each other

 

 

 

 

The world calls us to be engaged

 

 

 

We are all one

 

 

 

 

“For I was hungry and you gave me food

 

 

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink

 

 

I was a stranger and you welcomed me

 

 

I was naked and you gave me clothing

 

 

I was sick and you took care of me

 

 

I was in prison and you visited me.”

 

 

Mathew 25:34-36

Giving Hope

April 13, 2012

For the last 8 years I have shared an affiliation

 

With Hopeworks in Camden

 

 

4 of those years I was on the Board;

 

 

And for 2 years I served as the

 

President of the Board

 

 

 

 

Hopeworks is the vision of Fr Jeff Putthoff

 

 

A Jesuit

 

 

Gotta love the Jesuits

 

 

 

Fr Jeff  has committed himself to making a difference

 

 

In Camden

 

 

 

Thru hard work and patience

 

 

His vision is becoming a reality

 

 

 

Camden is recognized as one of

 

 

America’s poorest cities

 

 

 

There has been constant wrangling

 

Whether it is #1 or #2

 

 

 

It is also is ranked #2

 

 

As one of America’s

 

 

 

Dangerous cities

 

 

 

 

Over 40% of the youth never even graduate

 

 

From High School

 

 

 

Hopeworks vision:

 

 

 

Empowering the youth to identify

 

 

And develop their D.R.E.A.M.S.

 

 

 

(Dynamic, Realizable Efforts to Attain and Maintain Success)

 

 

And own their future.

 

 

 

 

Hopeworks provides the youth an opportunity to

 

 

Stay in school

 

 

Or to

 

 

Get their GED

 

 

 

Learn a skill

 

 

 

Giving them an opportunity to

 

 

 

Go to college

 

 

 

 

Education is the Key

 

 

 

The environment that The Camden youth

 

 

Are exposed to

 

 

Is frightening

 

 

Just within the last month

 

Over 3 people were shot and killed

 

Within a 2 block radius of Hopeworks

 

At 5th and State St

 

 

 

Drugs are dealt opening

 

 

One youth when asked what he hoped to do

 

When he got older

 

 

Stated that before coming to Hopeworks

 

 

He never really thought about it

 

 

 

For he never expected to live past 17

 

 

 

When he was 10 years old

 

His brother died in his arms

 

A victim of the streets

 

 

By 12 years old he was running drugs

 

And arrested on gun charges

 

 

After he shot at the police

 

 

 

 

Hopeworks is making a difference

 

 

 

While I was on the Board

 

Fr Jeff introduced the

 

 

 

Fun in the Sun Calendar

 

 

Each summer;  Hopework uses

 

The Fun in the Sun Calendar

 

To help fund summer jobs

 

For Camden youth

 

 

 

This summer we are hoping to raise

 

Enough funds to support

 

25 summer jobs at Hopeworks

 

 

 

 

This is where you can help

 

 

 

I have agreed to be a Captain

 

For the Fun in the Sun program

 

 

 

I am looking for you to help me sell

 

60 tickets

 

 

Which will help us to partially fund the

 

 

Hopeworks summer work program

 

 

 

There are many options available

 

 

1 subscription cost $20

 

 

You may also choose to support a youth for 1 week

 

 

That only cost $160

 

 

Each day in June a name will be pulled

 

From those you have bought a subscription

 

 

 

You will have a chance to win a

 

Specific dollar amount assigned to that day

 

 

One lucky subscribe stands to win

 

 $2012

 

 

That could be you

 

 

Click on the link below to get more information about the

 

 

Fun in the Sun Subscription

 

And take a minute to look at the other tabs on the website

 

 

These tabs provide more information

 

About Hopeworks

 

 

Their Vision and Mission statements

 

 

The programs available

 

 

To the Camden youth

 

 

 

Hopeworks is all about

 

 

Giving back……

 

 

Providing Hope…..

 

 

Opening Doors……

 

 

Fulfilling Dreams……

 

 

 

Let’s take time to Pay it Forward

 

 

 

http://www.hopeworks.org/fun-in-the-sun/

 

 

 

It is my hope that you will help us

 

 

Give 25 youth in Camden

 

 

A job at Hopeworks

 

 

This summer

 

 

 

Note: Should you choose to buy a subscription

 

There is a space that ask for the captain name

 

Please enter my name

Thanks

 

And God Bless You

 

 

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