According to data collected in the 2007 American Community Survey, approximately 12.5 percent of Americans — about 37.3 million people — are living in poverty. Organizations have been set up all over the USA to help those in need. While some these organizations operate at a national level, the majority are locally run by schools, churches and community outreaches. The opportunities for anyone to help those persons less fortunate than themselves are abundant.
The Office of Family Assistance, which falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources, operates a program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF. The goals of the program include reducing the number of needy families through job preparation, work and marriage, encouraging the structure of a two-parent family. TANF hopes to achieve these goals by putting federal funding in the hands of states and allowing them to design their own unique welfare programs. Many families that are living in poverty also are living in poor-quality housing and eating meals that are not meeting their nutritional requirements. One organization trying to change poverty-stricken condition is Habitat for Humanity. Founded in 1976. Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to providing decent and affordable housing to those in need and since it began, Habitat has helped house more than 1.5 million people. Better yet, Habitat is an international organization that offers volunteer opportunities all over the world. If you want to get involved, chances are a project is going on somewhere near your community right now.
One may chose to be like the sun giving radiance on a cloudy day, or they may choose to be the cloud that obstructs the light for others. Living life like a sunny day will give the brightness of hope in the lives of those living in a dark place.
Aside from these organizations, a number of smaller, more locally run organizations exist as well. Local soup kitchens and local businesses often have philanthropic endeavors of which you can be a part. If you want to get involved in helping needy families in your community, a good place to start is with your local schools or religious organizations.