Blog Action Day: Poverty

I will make this post short and sweet, because sometimes, the less said, the better.  Today is International Blog Action Day 2008 and I am happy to be a part of it with my little blog.  This year’s topic is poverty.

Here comes the disclaimer: I live in a nice neighborhood, have two great, stable jobs and my life is pretty good.  But yesterday, I was talking with a colleague at work whose nine year-old daughter asked her parents last week if they wanted to keep her allowance for a while – not give it to her.  Strange thing for a nine year-old to ask.  Why?

It turns out that two of her classmates’ fathers has recently lost their jobs. Stories like this, from the protected cocoon in which I live, bring it home a) how fortunate I am, and b) not others share the same fortune.  I may complain about my 401(k) tanking, but at least I HAVE a 401(k).

My last note is that, as a dad with two young children, I focus intently on helping them understand how fortunate we really are.  That usually includes a trip to the basement for them to forage for un-played-with toys, put them in a box and take them to a local day-laborer site, the Casa de Maryland.  Last year was the first time that we tried this, and thinking through the minds of small children, I started with just one box and a request to “think hard” about the toys they didn’t want.

We ended up with four boxes of toys, a very grateful staff at the Casa de Maryland and one very proud father. We are fortunate, but not everyone is.




  1. it must have made you very proud indeed. you’ve raised them well. 🙂

    saw this post via the front page of blog action day. it’s great that you’re participating. 🙂

  2. Lindsey Brothers Says: October 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I checked out Casa de Maryland, I didn’t even know this organization existed. Sounds like you raised your kids well 🙂

  3. Mark Story Says: October 15, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Kouji and Lindsey,

    Thanks for the comments about my children, but it is they who teach me. Children offer absolute, unfettered love, joy, generosity and enthusiasm – I’ve always said that it’s my job just not to screw it up.

    And La Casa de Maryland takes — yes, undocumented — workers and moves them from 7-11 parking lots where they are often taken advantage of and enables them to have a guaranteed contract (those who hire them have to sign it as well). They do very good work in trying circumstances. The Story family will be making a repeat visit in the future for a variety of reasons, but most of all, the lesson learned for my kids — and tying on both paragraphs — if that poverty is global.


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