It’s back to school time for the nation’s students. And, for many children and teens, this is an exciting time of the year. They look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. Perhaps the summer break was starting to get a little boring, so they are anxious to get back to a regular routine.
School can be a place of comfort and familiarity — a place where kids can get away from any worries and embrace the process of learning new things and succeeding in their chosen careers when they grow up.
That’s especially true for students who are homeless or living in poverty. They have dreams too. But, their current living situations may serve as a frequent deterrent to those dreams.
According to The National Center on Family Homelessness, one out of every 45 American children goes to sleep without a home of their own every year. That amounts to about 1.6 million kids. And, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that an estimated 21-percent of school-age children in the U.S. were living in poverty in 2012.
It’s important that we reach out to children in need in our communities. They require — and desire — an extra bit of encouragement. In addition, they need assistance obtaining the necessary items that will enable them to be prepared for the new school semester.
Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we distributed school supplies and food boxes — which included a fresh turkey — to more than 100 families in need of assistance this school year. It’s something we do every year to help make the return to school brighter for low-income and homeless children.
We went one step further this year and asked all of our recipients to join us in a prayer and moment of silence for the schoolchildren in West Africa who have been impacted by the deadly Ebola virus. It was a show of solidarity for the serious issues that face children across this globe.
In order to succeed, children need to see more than poverty, disease and despair.
All children need hope. Without it, their future will be bleak.
Reach out and give our children a chance to escape hopelessness. They need your help and they deserve it.