Category: A Helping Hand
Head Start programs across the country closed because of the government shutdown will reopen Tuesday thanks to a $10 million contribution from a pair of Texas philanthropists.
The National Head Start Association said Monday the founders of the Laura and John Arnold Foundation came forward after learning about the shutdown’s effects on the federal pre-K program for children from low-income families. The money is a personal donation, however, not through the foundation, NHSA spokeswoman Sally Aman said.
At least 7,195 children lost access to their Head Start programs since the government shutdown began a week ago. One in South Carolina closed Monday.
The money will allow recently closed programs like Jonathan Bines’ in Prentiss, Miss., to reopen and programs that were facing possible closure to stay open. Bines program serves 900 children. He said he has made calls to all of the families and also plans to send letters this week. Parents told him they are thrilled, with many heaving a grateful sigh of relief and saying, “Thank you.”
Charity millions ‘going to Syrian terror groups’
Some of their cash was “undoubtedly” going to extremist groups, said William Shawcross, the chairman of the Charity Commission.
Conditions on the ground in the midst of conflict made it difficult or impossible for charities to know where aid ended up, he said.
The Disasters Emergency Committee, which represents 14 of Britain’s biggest charities, has raised £20 million since the launch of its Syria Crisis Appeal in March. Its members include the British Red Cross, Oxfam and Save the Children.
But it said it was unable to guarantee that no cash was falling into the hands of terrorists.
The Charity Commission is so concerned that it has issued guidance to fund-raising bodies.
“A lot of money is raised that goes to Syria, some of it undoubtedly goes to extremist groups … It is very hard for all organisations to determine that,” Mr Shawcross said.
The commission said it was up to charity trustees to ensure that donors’ generosity, intended to benefit those in need, was not diverted to terrorists.
“There is a risk that funds raised in the name of ‘charity’ generally or under the name of a specific charity are misused to support terrorist activities, with or without the charity’s knowledge,” the commission said.
It warned that “individuals supporting terrorist activity might also claim to work for a charity and trade on its name and legitimacy to gain access to a region or community”.
Peter Clarke, a former head of anti-terrorism at the Metropolitan Police who sits on the board of the commission, said that donations could fall into the wrong hands once the money arrived in Syria or surrounding countries.
Published on Sep 19, 2013
http://www.democracynow.org – Two years after the Occupy Wall Street movement shifted the conversation on economic inequality, we look at its origins in New York City’s Zuccotti Park and its continued legacy in a number of different groups active today. We speak with Nicole Carty, actions coordinator with The Other 98 Percent, and a facilitator of general assemblies and spokescouncil meetings during Occupy, where she was a member of the Occupy People of Color Caucus. Also joining us is Nathan Schneider, editor of the website Waging Nonviolence, and a longtime chronicler of the Occupy movement for Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, The New York Times, and The Catholic Worker. Scheider’s new book, “Thank You Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse,” chronicles Occupy’s first year.
See all of the reports on Democracy Now! about Occupy Wall Street in our archive at http://www.democracynow.org/topics/oc….
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to look at the Occupy Wall Street movement and its legacy on its second anniversary. On September 17, 2011, thousands of people marched on the financial district, then formed an encampment in Zuccotti Park, launching a movement that shifted the conversation on economic inequality. Here in New York activists marked the occasion Tuesday with a march to the New York Stock Exchange and the United Nations highlighting a poll for taxing Wall Street transactions and directing the funds to public causes.
AMY GOODMAN: For more, we are joined by two guests. Nicole Carty is an actions coordinator with The Other 98%. During Occupy Wall Street she was a facilitator at general assemblies and spokes counsel meetings and she was a member of the Occupy People of Color Caucus. Nathan Schneider is also with us, editor of the website “Waging Nonviolence,” author of the new book “Thank You Anarchy: Notes From the Occupy Apocalypse.” We welcome you both to Democracy Now!. Why “Occupy Apocalypse,” Nathan?
NATHAN SCHNEIDER: That’s a great question. It’s a question I get a lot. The word in Greek meant unveiling, right? It described a moment in which something is revealed that changes our perception of everything and I think pretty accurately describes what happened with Occupy Wall Street, both for us a society in revealing the depth of income inequality, of the corruption of the political system and also of the power of the militarized police state; but also for so many individuals who took part across the country. I have been privileged to meet so many people and to watch them as their lives were changed by this movement, as they became activated and haven’t been able to go back to the way their lives were before.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Nathan, you write in the beginning of the book, you say for nearly two months in the fall of 2011 a square block of granite and honey locust trees in New York’s Financial District, right between Wall Street and the World Trade Center, became a canvas for the image of another world. Two years later how has that canvas been preserved and what are some of the activities that the Occupiers are now involved with?
NATHAN SCHNEIDER: Well, to talk about that canvas itself, it is interesting to see the ways in which the movement is memorialized kind of informally in the Financial District. There is still a wall of barricades around the Charging Bull statue. There are still regularly barricades in Zuccotti Park. There are still barricades around Chase Manhattan Plaza which was the original planned sort of decoy site for the Occupation. It is amazing how the security state is still living in fear of this movement. But at the same activists who were involved in it, many of them are spread out across the country in all kinds of networks that have formed through the course of this movement, putting their bodies in the way of the Keystone Pipeline, calling attention to issues like a financial transaction tax, bringing housing activists together around the country to create a stronger movement. There are a number of campaigns that have been profoundly strengthened by networks formed in the Occupy Movement.
AMY GOODMAN: Nicole Carty, where were you two years ago?
NICOLE CARTY: Two years ago I was working for the Sundance Channel doing content management. I was just one of many precariate who didn’t really have a solid job and I came in to Occupy because it was the first time I ever had seen people my own age, or anyone for that matter, talking about the deep inequality within this country. It was just kind of this secret and I feel like part of the legacy is that that so unveiled at this point. It is not even questioned.
AMY GOODMAN: So talk about what it was really like, what day did you go to Occupy and describe the community there.
Many people think of hunger as an affliction that only affects underdeveloped countries or is typically the result of environmentally-induced famine. However, for one in ten Americans, hunger is an everyday reality.
Right now, over 50 million Americans — including nearly 17 million children — are struggling with hunger. We all know and are in contact with people affected by hunger, even though we might not be aware of it.
Poverty is forcing millions of Americans into a hunger crisis. Their hunger emergency is defined by food insecurity, which is the lack of access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy life.2 Families find themselves buying cheaper and less nutritious food, or cutting entire meals out of their diet, just to make ends meet. Increasing over time, this pattern leads to chronic malnutrition, affecting children and families in profoundly destructive ways.
Hunger plays a pivotal role in perpetuating the cycle of poverty in the U.S., weakening families and systemically impairing the country’s collective ability to reach its full potential. Hungry children are not able to play, engage, and learn like other children, and are therefore less likely to become productive adults. Compromised health can lead to both short- and long-term problems; children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.
Both the commonplace demands of daily life and unexpected, dramatic events can easily push families below the poverty line. “Families are often forced to make the tradeoff between food and other expenses” explains Penn State University economic geographer Amy Glasmeier in her book, An Atlas of Poverty in America. “Healthcare is a particular problem. In poor, rural communities families often have no choice but to use the emergency room for routine health care. This is very expensive. Car repairs are another significant and unexpected expense. If the family car needs repair and it is the end of the month, when cash reserves are low, a family will have no choice but to reduce food intake to get the car back on the road in order to go to work.”4
The Hidden Poor
According to FeedingAmerica.org, food insecurity affects many segments of the American population, and exists in every county in the U.S., from a low of 5% in Steele Country, ND to a high of 37% in Holmes County, MS.
The USDA estimates that 16.7 million children are living in food-insecure households. In 2011, households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (20.6%), especially households with children headed by single women (36.8%) or single men (24.9%), Black, non-Hispanic households (25.1%) and Hispanic households (26.2%).
Families: A frightening 14.7% of U.S. households experienced food insecurity during 2011. 50.1 million people lived in food-insecure households, including children, working adults, and seniors.
8% of seniors (one million households) were food insecure in 2011. A study that examined the health and nutritional status of seniors found that food-insecure seniors had significantly lower intakes of vital nutrients in their diets when compared to their food-secure counterparts. In addition, food-insecure seniors were more likely to report fair/poor health status and had higher nutritional risk.6
A 12-year-old boy from Ferguson, Mo., has blown us away with his courage and sacrifice.
Devon Melton’s mother, Christina Craig, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and his parents are struggling with the financial burden of her illness.
“I overheard her talking on the phone,” Devon told KTVI. “I just asked her are you ok, because her tears were running down her face. She said she was failing me as a parent because she’s always sick, and I had to help.”
That’s when Melton decided to step in.
He got the idea of holding a garage sale, but he didn’t have much of his own to give away. So he began reaching out to potential donors on Craiglist’s ‘Free’ section with a moving email that soon went viral.
Hi this is Devon. I am the one that messaged you on Craigslist. My mom is amazing she and my dad take care of my two brothers, me and my sister. She has breast cancer and I heard her crying one day after she had her surgery. I thought she was hurt so I went to her door. I heard her say I’m losing everything because I am sick. We are about to lose our home, electric, gas and dad lost his job..I went to my preacher and asked how can I help. He said to do a garage sale. I went to every house on my road getting donations for the garage sale..
My mom deserves the best and I want to help her because she helps everyone. Even with her sick she still works at the food pantry at our church. She says people have to eat and God blessed us to be part of a ministry that can feed people. I just wish it was mom’s turn to be blessed with a timeout like she says she needs. I hope we can get things together and I can really help my mom.
The post inspired a slew of donations from Craigslisters. KTVI reports that he’s received over 200 emails from people wanting to help and has recently had to expand the sale to a bigger location.
He’s raised $120 so far, and plans to continue holding the sale until all the donations are sold.
“I can give up a couple of my things and.. put the hard work in,” he told KDSK. “She takes care of me, so I thought I should take care of her for once.”
Published on Jan 22, 2013
Have you ever seen two people beg in the same subway car at the same time?
I’m sorry to trouble everybody but I’m trying to raise money for my next video: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…
Produced by actor/comedian/jackass Gary Lee Mahmoud of Panhandler Party Productions, LLC. Special thanks to co-producer, editor, Padcaster inventor, and all around great guy Josh Apter at the Manhattan Edit Workshop.
Also thank you to Alex Grybauskas, Dennis Mitchell, and Alan Eisenberg at Refinery NYC. Thank you to Aida Artieda for her organizational skills and Alan Kudan for some amazing audio capture.
Great performances by: Jane Aquilina, Rob King, Jen Kwok, Nick Cobb, Andrew Ginsburg, Sean Allison, and Aguileo Ramos, Rigoberto Ramos, and Leopoldo Juarez of Mariachi Aguila y Plata!
And thank you to Josh Hyman, Elyse Brandau, Justin Hoch, Jessica Solce, Lauren Potter, Dan Jamieson, Dan Katz, Rishi Gandhi, and Jaime Ordonez for some great iPhone camerawork.
Panhandler Party creator (and actor) Gary Lee Mahmoud may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other clips and reviews of his work can be found on his performance website at http://serfgary.com/Main.html.
Meals Per Hour
Published on Jun 19, 2013
— GREAT NEWS! TOYOTA IS NOW GOING TO DONATE UP TO 1,000,000 MEALS! FOR EVERY VIDEO VIEW BETWEEN JUNE 20th AND JULY 19th, TOYOTA WILL DONATE ONE MEAL TO FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY, UP TO 1,000,000 —
The challenge: How can a non-profit implement Toyota’s legendary production system (TPS) to increase the number of meals distributed to people who are still affected by Superstorm Sandy? Watch this movie – and help us do even more.
thank you, and always be KAIZEN.
henry & rel
p.s. watch HD and loud
for more information visit: mealsperhour.com
and to donate visit: foodbanknyc.org
directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman – gosupermarche.com
produced by Melody Roscher – imdb.com/name/nm2860460
music by Rob Simonsen – robsimonsen.com/listen/films
cinematography by Aaron Wesner greencardnewyork.com/category/directors/aaron_wesner
edited by Duncan Skiles – waverlyfilms.com/duncan
animation by Van Neistat -vimeo.com/vanneistat
written by Jeff Gonick – jeffgonicklikesyou.com
field producer Tony Borden – youtube.com/user/tonyborden
sound mixers Theodore Robinson – imdb.com/name/nm3007363 & Matthew Betlej imdb.com/name/nm2662065
art director Karly Grawin – pinterest.com/geemie/
additional photography Arianna LaPenne – ariannalapenne.com & Casey Neistat caseyneistat.com
colorst Sam Daley – imdb.com/name/nm2207707
Technicolor NY producer Steve Rapanaro
sound editor Corey Choy – silversound.us/
sound re-recording mixer Robin Shore – silversound.us/
Graphics and title design Adrian Letechipia – adrianletechipia.com
after effects artist Robin Comisar -robincomisar.com
assistant editors Bill Kemmler, Stefan Moore, John Mattia
production assistants Amy Crowdis, Ben Smith, Moni Vaughan, Paul Dadowski, Daniel Wright
Published on May 30, 2013
http://www.democracynow.org – As Republicans move to cut billions of dollars in funding for food stamps, a new report finds one in six Americans live in a household that cannot afford adequate food. In “Nourishing Change: Fulfilling the Right to Food in the United States,” the International Human Rights Clinic at New York University’s School of Law reports that of these 50 million people going hungry, nearly 17 million are children. Food insecurity has skyrocketed since the economic downturn, with an additional 14 million people classified as food insecure in 2011 than in 2007. The report comes as Congress is renegotiating the Farm Bill and proposing serious cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. Millions of Americans currently rely on the program to feed themselves and their families. The report’s co-author, Smita Narula of the International Human Rights Clinic at NYU’s School of Law, joins us to discuss her findings and why she is calling on the U.S. government to ensure that all Americans have access to sufficient, nutritious food.
Food stamp cuts hurt the economy and taxpayers along with the poor
To hear Republicans — and some Democrats — in Congress talk, you’d think food-stamp dollars just disappear into a black hole. The prevailing debate in the Senate and House versions of the farm bill, which contains funding for food stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), is over how much to cut.
But when more than 15 percent of Americans remain impoverished, slashing food assistance for the poor makes no sense in humanitarian, economic or public-health terms.
The House bill which is gaining steam after passage by the Agriculture Committee last week, is the more draconian of the two. It would chop $20 billion over 10 years from SNAP, and its changes to food-stamp eligibility rules would cut off vital sustenance for about 2 million low-income people, including seniors and families with children.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, 210,000 children in low-income families would lose their free school meals under the House plan.
The Senate version would cut far less, though a final figure will be hashed out by a conference committee in June. But the attacks on food assistance for the poor are deeply misguided and are only going to get worse.
The proposed House budget from Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., seeks to gut food stamps by an additional $135 billion through block grants to states.
Yet government and other studies clearly show that food stamps are among the most wisely spent public dollars, providing essential nourishment and public health benefits to low-income people as well as economic stimulus to rural and urban communities.
These are returns on spending that you won’t find in the corporate tax giveaways and military spending boondoggles routinely supported by both political parties. even as they scream for austerity when it comes to slashing “entitlements” and food assistance for the poor.
The Trust for America’s Health, a health advocacy organization that focuses on disease prevention, warned recently of the consequences of cutting food stamps: “If the nation continues to underfund vital public health programs, we will never achieve long-term fiscal stability, as it will be impossible to help people get/stay healthy, happy and productive.”
Indeed, According to a 2011 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “research shows that low-income households participating in SNAP have access to more food energy, protein and a broad array of essential vitamins and minerals in their home food supply compared to eligible nonparticipants.”
- As Lawmakers Target Food Stamp Funding, New Report Finds 1 in 6 in U.S. are Going Hungry (democracynow.org)
- The Facts about Food Stamps Everyone Should Hear (heritage.org)
- Morning Bell: A Bumper Crop of Food Stamps (heritage.org)
- A Bumper Crop of Food Stamps (americanfreedombybarbara.com)
- Food Stamps Get Licked by Cuts (prospect.org)
- US News & World Report’s so called “facts” about food stamps. (iowntheworld.com)
- Food stamp cuts hurt the economy and taxpayers along with the poor (star-telegram.com)
- 50 Million Americans Are Going Hungry As Congress Considers Gutting Food Stamps (thinkprogress.org.feedsportal.com)
- PDA Calls on Members to Fight Against Food Stamp Cuts (tucson-progressive.com)
- Senate Food Stamp Cuts: Starve The Poor To Feed The Rich (lezgetreal.com)