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Posts Tagged ‘welfare’

     Nine years is a relatively short amount of time to change lives, community, and environment.  Luckily, Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t let that thought stop him when he created the Civilian Conservation Corps through his impactful New Deal which created over 59 agencies that worked to help America get out of the Depression Era.

      The Great Depression was a devastating period of time in America that impacted every facet of family life.  Food was in short supply, jobs were scarce, families were large and hope was wanning. 

       The year 1933 began to change that…the Depression had already dumped four years of hardship on families and the country.  Franklin D. Roosevelt became the President and promised the country a New Deal.  He created many agencies that would ultimately turn the country around…but those things took time. 

         When he created the Civilian Conservation Corps it was intended to take young men out of the city who were on the “help” line or what would today be called welfare.  The CCC did in fact help many young city men to leave the city life and got plenty of young men out of an environment of trouble.   When some of the young men/boys didn’t want to leave the city…boys from the country also went.  If the young men couldn’t work during this time, they were a drain on the family food supply; the CCC provided a solution to that by sending the young men to the camps…not only didn’t their families have to feed them…they could in turn, send home money helping to support their family at home. The requirements were such that the young men were supposed to be 18 years of age, collecting help or welfare benefits, and were willing to leave their families to go to the CCC camps.

         The work was hard.  The environment was sometimes empty lands that the “boys” had to clear and build their own shelters that would eventually become the camp barracks.  The discipline was tough because it had to be.  The camps often were blending boys from city life with boys from country life.  The times were tough…and many men and boys came without much clothing.  The camps provided uniforms to wear, food to eat, a place to stay, and a purpose for the young men and boys during a time when left to their own devices, many were prone to get into trouble.  The uniforms helped to instill pride in the work that they performed…for their families, their communities, and their country.

         The work that the CCC did was varied around the country…but, basically, they built roads, dams, installed telephone lines, paved roads, built state and national parks, built dams, constructed fire breaks to help control fire damage, planted forests and so much more.

          In return for the priviledge of being clothed in uniform and taking pride in the work that they were able to accomplish, the young men had to agree to the payment plan.  That payment included three meals a day, housing, clothing, and $30 dollars a month…the men were allowed to keep $5 dollars of that money and the rest was sent home to help their parents; or, if they were married with dependents, then they sent home the $25 to their spouse to help take care of their responsibilities.  Many of the young men had to not only leave their homes but some even had to go to camps out of their home states.

          This program, the CCC was wonderful at rebuilding a sense of pride in young men who did not want to take help from the government…it allowed them to feel as though they were once again restoring their families by the manual labor that they did.  At the same time, the CCC used the young men to construct projects that impacted the country in ways that; to this day, we are able to reap the rewards from.  The work ethic that the men exibited during this time was to set a standard for generations to learn from.  It was run with a military type environment…not quite a boot camp…but strong discipline and lots of physical labor.  Often, the men went on to join the armed forces and used the skills they learned through the CCC to help the military in other areas around the world. 

          Many of the parks and dams still exist and are enjoyed.  The CCC camps lasted 9 years; this year honored the celebration of its 75 anniversity.  The CCC put over 2.5 million young men and boys to work.  They planted over 200 million trees…my own grandfather was a part of that.  In the area where he worked…they planted pine trees that still stand to this day.  In the area where he worked…those trees were instrumental to helping to stop the progression of a 10 acre parcel of desert which turned into over 1000 acres before the trees were able to do their job.  That gave farming families a chance to regain their farm land which provided their families a place to live and plant their food supply.  

          All of the men who joined the CCC did work to be proud of.  They worked hard, they sacrificed time away from their families and they provided for other members of their families by doing so.  Many formed long lasting friendships with their co-workers and all had stories to tell when their time was done.   It is a legacy that should not be forgotten.  All of the work was important and should be honored. Many of the workers are gone now…some are living still and to them all…we owe a big thank you!   Do you know anyone who worked for the CCC?  How did it impact their life?  How does it affect the environment where you live today?  Should we organize something similar today to help our economy, our youth, and our country?  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/impact-action-team-makes-a-difference-in-the-world-through-boot-camp-training/

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      This should make us all weep.  It was reported in the last couple of days that 1 infant out of 50 has been abused/neglected before they reach the age of one. Out of that group, one third of them is less than a WEEK OLD!  Where is the natural protective instinct that even animals have towards their babies?

       These numbers are horrible… even one baby is too many…but one out of 50?  A baby less than a week old is doing nothing beyond eating, sleeping, filling a diaper, and giving/receiving love.  Those beautiful little babies are so dependent on those around them to survive.  Imagine being abused from the very beginning of life; it is a cycle that will repeat itself over and over again if it isn’t stopped.

         Of course, i know in my logical mind about those who are so consumed with addictions and rebellion that they continue to use drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.  My heart is another matter.  I have children that were adopted who were victims of their parent’s drug and alcohol use while they were still forming in the womb.  It burdens those children everyday with learning disabilities, physical deformaties and or limitations, retardation, psychological well being, as well as having socially acceptable skills and life long medical problems.  Is it fair?  No!  Is it abuse?  Yes!   Read up here:  http://www.nofas.org/ or http://childwelfare.gov/.

         The news report went on to educate me further.  It seems that the neglect and abuse before the age of one includes things such as drug/alcohol use during pregnancy as well as after birth.  Trust me…i live with those results everyday.  My children were abused before birth and they struggle in ways most people don’t understand.  They are “special needs children” because of that abuse.  See this organization for information:  http://marchofdimes.com/.

           Then, the article informed me that those same babies that are abused/neglected, before the age of one, includes those situations where the mother did not receive proper, prenatal health care …or the mother did not follow up with doctor appointments and or normal health care during that first year.  Here is some helpful information:  http://kidshealth.org/ .

           Alot of those statistics, i am sure, are a direct result of the health care crisis in America.  Many people don’t have health care coverage.  Poverty is a huge player in this part of the scenerio.  I know money can prevent people from getting the check ups that they need.  To walk in the door at my doctor’s office it costs $84 per 15 minute visit.  Imagine a young mother (or father) having to take that infant in for care every other month or so plus the cost of immunizations.  Check with your local health departments for help with those costs.

           Some of the other statistics were infants under the age of one who did not have proper housing, food or clothing.  Again those numbers are influenced by the national economy.   Take a look at this:  http://feedthechildren.org. or http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/.

            My personal opinion is that a larger section of our population was left out of these statistics; those  little lives who are aborted each and every day.    Is not killing a young life just as abusive as  some of these other abuses/neglects?  The number of aborted babies, i would dare to say, would jump these numbers of abuse/neglect into the stratosphere.  Some would say that abortion is a personal/moral choice some say it is a political choice.   There are organizations that try to help, by offering alternatives to abortion, such as:   http://healthybeginnings.org/ or http://www.bethany.org .  Those who have been affected by abortion often need help healing from the trauma even years down the road.

        It is easier in our minds to dislike the person who physically/ verbally abuses, or neglects to feed or give emotional support to a young child; than it is to understand, that we all must play a part in changing things or we become a part of the problem.  Silence or inaction on these subjects is equal to condoning them.

           If you are able to support a young parent with physical or emotional help…do it.  If you are aware of drug/alcohol use in an expecting mother…educate her to the consequences,  seek medical intervention and/or report it if she refuses help.  If you see or suspect abuse report it; you might save a life.

             While i am trying to wrap my mind around these staggering numbers of affected people…i am also processing the idea of so many young lives being hurt just by being born.  What must we do?  We must make a positive impact on those around us.  We each have areas of influence where we can impact positive changes.  Take a look at this website for protecting children:  http://keepingkidssafetoday.com.

              We must take action.  We must continue to educate.  We must continue to stand between ignorance, addictions, abortion, poverty and plain old abuse and protect those who can’t protect themselves.  We must build up our programs of intervention with jobs, health care, anger management, parenting classes, drug and alcohol counseling, family planning/pregnancy counseling, mental health/counseling; and yes, when necessary even prosecution of those who would visit pain and neglect on our littlest and most helpless citizens.  After all, they can hardly do it themselves. 

         

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