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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Houses with dirt floors

This is for Blog Action Day - 2008 Poverty. We're supposed to do what we always do on our blogs. So, I'll give you a story.

The year was 1968. The town was Springfield, Illinois. I was in the 7th grade. The girls' counselor called me down to the office during last hour. She explained there was an 8th grade girl who had been "out sick" for some time. The counselor had been taking homework to the girl, but for some reason was unable to do so on this day. Since the girl's house was on my way home, and since I walked home, would I be able to take her homework on my way. I didn't really want to. But, I agreed anyway.

I had passed by the house lots of times. It was actually a one-room shack with a well and outhouse. The mom answered the door holding a baby and surrounded by a bunch of kids of all ages. As they all backed up to let me in, I noticed the uneven hard-packed dirt floor. When I said I had homework for the girl, she came forward from the crowd of kids. She was about eight months pregnant. But she looked so happy to see me. Like I was a friend who had come to play with her, even though I never met her before.

Not surprisingly, I've managed to find myself in more houses with dirt floors since that first one. They're still out there.

So, now the pitch. If you're already doing something to fight poverty, good and thank you. If you want to do something, but not sure where to start, a very worthy Springfield organization is the Washington Street Mission. They take cash, household items, and clothes. Their clients get to shop there for free. Or, visit the web site for other ways to get involved.

Listening to "The World is a Ghetto" by War. (It's a pretty song.)

Edit: Added link in top line; opened comments, which were closed for some unknown reason - possibly due to trying to do a "scheduled" post.

Posted by Marie at October 15, 2008 3:34 AM


Thanks for this Marie. What a story! And what a nice reminder about a problem that is too often overlooked. Poverty, I mean, not just dirt floors.

Posted by: John at October 15, 2008 11:16 AM

Great post.

Posted by: Blevins at October 15, 2008 7:27 PM

Thank you, Palmer. I especially liked yours.

Posted by: Marie Author Profile Page at October 16, 2008 9:41 PM