Poverty Here

submitted by USA:

For the Thomas family, life as an American family was tougher than the imagined. Their great grandparents had come to America from England looking for a better life. It has always been a struggle, but their grandparents had made a good life through hard work. James, the father, worked hard at three jobs but couldn't afford to keep the bills paid. Kimberley, who was 13 and John, who was 5 and also had autism, slept on the floor of their parents' bedroom in the two-room apartment they rented. Tabitha, the mother, was in a car accident and was unable to work. The family’s only way of making money came from the Social Security check for John and for Tabitha who suffers from a hurt back, and the small paychecks and earned money James could make at his jobs. The family was one of 20.5 million Americans who live on less than half of the poverty level. They were good people who wanted to do more. They were willing to do whatever it took to have a better life. But times were hard so what could they do?

Canadian contribution:
The Thomas family lived in a tough neighborhood. Crime was high and James and Tabitha worried for their children. They would not let them play outside very much. A block and a half away is the area's jail. Though the government is helping the family, they want more. Tabitha decided to take her children to the local library for children's hour. While the kids were listening to story time and making crafts, Tabitha read as much as she could on sewing. She learned how to sew a little as a child from her grandmother. Tabitha thought if she could learn more, she could make clothes to sell from her home. She could then help the family earn more money. Tabitha took the kids to the library everyday. After four months of studying, a church member bought Tabitha a sewing machine and some fabric to get started. She sold her first dress two weeks later for thirty dollars.

Wales, UK contribution:
Tabitha realised that she could make clothes for her children for much less than she could buy them. She used some of her earnings to buy the fabric to make their clothes. Kimberley's friends liked the clothes her mother made for her. Tabitha decided to teach a sewing class at the local community center. She charged twenty dollars an hour for her class. Many of Kimberley's friends and parents attended the class. Tabitha was making enough money to help pay for all of the utilities.

Italian contribution:
John needed treatment for his autism. Autism therapy in America can have much expense. Many times Tabitha had to read about therapy ideas in the library. She decided to help John at home on her own. She spent many days at the library reading about therapy for autism. She was determined to help her son.

There is a government program in America called food stamps where families can go to food pantries for their food. The Thomas's bought all of their food at their local food pantry.

The Thomas family struggled to make enough money just to survive. It is not what their grandparents thought would happen in America. People come to America for hope and wealth. No American family probably even thinks it will not be able to pay for what they need just to survive. The Thomas family works hard and does whatever it takes to pay their bills.