I took my car for granted – until this past Thursday. A conspicuous brick sailed through my windshield in the middle of the night, leaving a network of splintered glass at eye level on the driver's side. Whether intentional or not, it left me in a position to depend on others. No longer could I visit the gym, peruse the grocery aisles, or spend an evening with friends on a whim. Among many lessons learned, the overwhelming sense of powerlessness was apparent, yet it was dominated by something much stronger, something so strong, it about knocked me over: the willingness of others to come to my aid. Not only did my family flock to my side, but coworkers, friends, and even acquaintances rallied around me. What would've happened if I didn't have this support system?
Unfortunately, that's what some women in our country face everyday. Having a toothbrush to clean their teeth is a luxury, let alone owning a car.
Why do more women tend to live in poverty? The Center for American Progress breaks it down for you:
- Women who work full time earn only 77 percent of what men make
- Women are tracked into “pink-collar” jobs such as teaching, child care, nursing, cleaning, and waitressing, which typically pay less than jobs in industries that are male-dominated.
- Women spend more time providing unpaid caregiving than men.
- Women are more likely to bear the costs of raising children.
- Pregnancy affects women’s work and educational opportunities more than men’s.
- Domestic and sexual violence can push women into a cycle of poverty.
To name a few.
The great news is, Volunteers of America Mid-States addresses several of these inhibitors. Even better? They're testing a national campaign – the #BacktoBasics movement – and I'm one of a few lucky women that has been asked to represent this community.
Not only do I want to make a monetary difference, but a visual one as well. For years, I've searched the dusty recesses of my mind in order to find a cause worth joining. But this... this is an opportunity to START ONE.
My goal is to raise $500. I'm donating $50. I can't do it alone. Here's what you can do:
Donate. I will accept anything you can give.
Ask. We live in a time where females are realizing they have a voice to make a difference. Ask someone else in your network to support the cause too.
Share it. This campaign can be engaging and impactful if we use our platforms to speak up. I have images for you to share on your social media platform. Tag me (@therootcowork), tag VOA (@voamid), and use the hashtag #backtobasics.
Be part of something big by giving little. Let's create change together.