Columbia’s War on Poverty: Everyone Unites
Last weekend we did something a little crazy at the Salvation Army which I think illustrates a pretty important point. Poverty is such a big problem that it takes a huge number of people, from all parts of our community, to come together to make any progress to address it.
What happened was that one of our team members stood outside the First Presbyterian Church on Hitt Street and rang a Salvation Army bell for 34 hours straight, collecting fund and raise awareness in the fight against poverty.
During the 34 hours – no sleep and only a 15 minute break every eight hours as there is also the possibility of setting a world record – he was joined by members of our community, keeping him awake and motivated. to continue.
This is where we come to the point. It wasn’t just anyone who participated; it was a bit of everyone. At all hours of the day and night, people from all over Colombia spent an hour ringing the bell (no, not the full 34 hours, as our team member probably still recovering). Others have found different ways to get involved and try to make a little difference in the effort.
Volunteers and visitors included everyone from fairly wealthy people to currently homeless people. We had people of all colors, religions, gender identifications and the like from all walks of life.
Four of the five currently announced Columbia mayoral candidates participated, along with candidates for city council and a state representative. Several elected officials also joined the party.
Among many others, special thanks should be given to partners in the anti-poverty efforts Darin Preis of Central Missouri Community Action, John Baker of the Central Missouri Community Foundation, Nick Foster (formerly) of the Voluntary Action Center and Jen Wheeler of City of Refuge.
Oh, and we certainly have to mention the three contest winners – Miss Columbia Amanda Lewis, Miss Boone County Melissa Gomes, and Miss Clark County Calissa Cormier, all in 2022.
The list goes on and it really was two amazing days. It couldn’t have happened without everyone’s help. It’s important to note that everyone who got involved is deeply committed to winning the war on poverty and making Columbia the best it can be.
Do you know what we didn’t ask of anyone involved? We did not interview a single person about a political party or other affiliation. We knew some of them and certainly had a wide range of deeply held beliefs, but we didn’t ask. There was no litmus test.
From start to finish, we all worked together to make it happen – something many didn’t think was possible. This is exactly how we should approach our many cultural issues. Let’s all roll up our sleeves and get the job done… together.
The Salvation Army helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, drug addiction, and economic hardship each year through a range of social services. By providing food for hungry people, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, and clothing and shelter for those in need, The Salvation Army doing the most good in 7,600 operations centers across the country. In the very first list of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the largest privately-funded, direct-service nonprofit organization in the world. country. For more information on Salvation Army central territory, please visit CentralUSA.SalvationArmy.org or your local Salvation Army at SalvationArmyCoMo.org or SalvationArmyJeffCity.org.
Major Curtiss Hartley is a leader of the Mid-Missouri Salvation Army, with facilities in Columbia and Jefferson City. The Salvation Army provides a wide range of community services to fight poverty and other issues, seeking to rebuild lives and create lasting change.