Escaping the cycle - Catholic Courier

Escaping the cycle

I know what it means to grow up poor.

I remember vividly how much I dreaded going to the grocery store at the beginning of the month when my mother would break out the food stamps to buy our cartload of food. And we had to make that food last the month.

So, it broke my heart to interview area residents for a two-part series on poverty that I worked on with fellow reporter Amy Kotlarz, and hear similar stories of people trying to get by in this world. These were stories of people like my mom, raising children alone and making do. These were stories of people having no food mid-month. And they were stories of people trying to build a new life after growing up poor and experiencing Christmases with no presents under the tree.

In that sense, I personally can say how blessed I was, though, because somehow my brother and I always had gifts to open. But the true gift was the one we received through our Catholic education all through high school, paid for by our parish, which helped us escape the cycle of poverty.

My brother and I both went on to college and successful careers, and I am blessed to have a husband who not only provides financial support but is a wonderful partner in providing a stable and happy home for our children.

So, what can we all do as a community to create a similar future for the poor families living all around us in this region? Amy and I will offer up some ideas on that in our second article next month. But shouldn’t we all be working together to finally end a 50-year-old “War on Poverty?”


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