Monday, August 20, 2007

A City of Hope

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is doubtless one of the most recognizable cities in the United States. Founded in the mid-1700s, Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania and boasts a rich colonial history. The 2000 U.S. census reported that 312,819 people live within the perimeter of its 55.6 square miles.

One publication listed Pittsburgh as America’s most livable city for 2007. But imagine for a moment what life in Pittsburgh would be like if things were not just as they are…

  • Imagine if Pittsburgh had virtually no access to medical services, leaving over 300,000 people to simply stay home and suffer when they are sick because they cannot possibly afford to visit a doctor or pay for medicine.
  • Imagine if practically no one in Pittsburgh earned more than two dollars a day – but had to stretch this income out to pay for food, housing, clothes and any other expenses.
  • Imagine if, instead of over 150 gleaming skyscrapers, Pittsburgh were made up mostly of crumbling, dilapidated shacks thrown together from scraps of lumber, plastic sheeting and rusty tin...
  • Imagine if Pittsburgh were just another poverty-stricken city in just another developing country.
Poverty this stark and this overwhelming is hard to imagine on such a large scale in America. Yet, were you to gather the over 300,000 desperately poor children that Children International reaches out to in eleven countries around the world into a single city, you would have a population that easily rivals or surpasses that of Pittsburgh.

Figure in these children’s relatives and you have a tragedy of epic proportions.

With the help of our sponsors, we are providing reliable – and free – medical and dental care to children who would otherwise have nowhere to turn. We’re helping children trade the fields and the sweatshops for the classroom…fighting parasitic infestations…treating malnutrition…teaching job skills…funding micro-enterprise ventures for income generation…providing safe housing…in short, we’re turning this “city of tragedy” into a city of hope.

The obstacles are sobering and at times it seems like change is frustratingly slow. But while we can’t provide a quick fix for poverty, we are convinced sponsorship can make a significant difference in the long run. So please, get involved. You really can make a difference. You can help build a city of hope.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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