All of this talk of how I'm making a choice to be frugal and save money got me to thinking about people and times when it wasn't a choice. Depending on which source you quote,14%-16% of American families are at or below poverty levels. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sets the threshold for assistance for a family of five at $27,010. That equates to working 40 hours a week for $13 an hour. With the ever rising costs of food, utilities, housing and gas it's no wonder we're all feeling the pinch.
A few months ago I stumbled across this little gem...the Great Depression Story Project. It is a wonderful compilation of stories from Ohio residents about their experiences during the late 20's and 30's. The topics range from food, holidays, entertainment to beautiful stories about helping strangers in need. Helping each other is such a foreign concept these days.
I've been reading these little nuggets of history and I want to encourage all of you to do the same. These folks aren't so different from you and I . They were scared of the uncertainty but still managed to live and love and enjoy life. In many of the stories the authors recall gifts they received or items they saved months to be able to afford, many of which they still had to this day. An underlying theme in these stories is that in spite of their poverty or better yet, inspired by their poverty, they drew together as families and a community.
Inspired and Awed..........Deborah
"I wouldn't change any of these experiences even if I could. It was more enjoyable than you can ever imagine. I have come to appreciate what a wonderful opportunity my family had to grow up poor in the back woods of West Virginia deprived of nothing that was truly important, and blessed with everything we really needed."
- Betty Banta, age 80, Columbus