Reflections from the #EnoughForAll Campaign Launch

As I attended the #EnoughForAll campaign kick-off launch last week it reminded me of my own experience living in poverty when I was a single mother. I remember watching a commercial about a kid’s toy and how it disappointed me that I could not always afford to buy my children the toys they wanted. But, it wasn’t just about the toy it was about having the resources to provide for my family.

Living in poverty is about having to choose what bill to pay month to month, so you and your family can have a roof over your heads. I remember one day my son was upset at me because he didn’t want to eat macaroni again. Unfortunately, that was all I could afford! Being at the #EnoughForAll campaign with others who I know are also living in poverty, I realized I wasn’t alone and that there were others in the room who know what it feels like to not be able to afford rent, mortgages, groceries, transportation, medication and school supplies.

They know how upset you feel when you can’t afford to save because every penny and dime you have is already spent before you even have it. People who live in poverty know that money is part of the solution but they also know that money, ironically,  is also part of the silence that continues around poverty because it is so hard to share what makes you feel so vulnerable.

The stories that were shared last week were courageous and they were different but yet in many ways they were also similar. As a single mom, many years ago, I remember feeling alone, stressed and scared about my children’s future.  Even today I still find myself feeling that way when I think back on it. But yet, I felt a little less scared and a lot more hopeful when I saw our community coming together to learn, act and share our experiences and knowledge about poverty at the campaign. Together I know we all can make a big difference!

To find out more please visit the enoughforall.ca website. My challenge to anyone reading this blog is for you to wear the #EnoughForAll ring and learn how poverty affects your neighbors and your community. Then think of someone you know who may need assistance. Find a way to help that person even if it’s just in small ways by listening to their story, sharing information about community resources, shoveling their sidewalk or by helping them to break down any of the barriers they face to reducing the stress and fear they may be feeling. Thank you for all the efforts you make to help fight poverty – Holly

Holly DeSimone is the social media coordinator with Vibrant Communities Calgary

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