During the early infant months of Parenthood, I caught the Oprah bug to help cure new-mom boredom and I watched a heartbreaking episode about extreme levels of poverty within the United States. A few of the places highlighted were American Indian Reservations. Prior to watching episode, I felt fairly well-versed in the plight of the American Indians, as my Dad is a bit of an Aficiando and Old West Buff. However, seeing the images thru the eyes of a new Mother suddenly made me much more affected by their conditions.
Some simple, but major statisics are:
- 80% Unemployment (also interesting FYI- of the 200,000 jobs created by Indian Casinos, only 25% of these jobs actually went to Indians)
-23% Graduate High School and only 17% go on to college
-60% of all Indian Children are currently born out of wed-lock
-Indian teens commit suicide at 3x the nat'l teen avg.
-Average Life Expectancy for Sioux is only 48 years old!!!!!!!!!!!
-Land Indians were moved to is 30-90% less productive than other farming areas within U.S.
So you ask yourself, how can I help if the Indian's choose to be Sovereign from us?
Well, I happen to be a person that truly believes that education is the backbone and inspiration behind most human advances. The Indian's have very little access to Captalism, and that is including Human Capital in the form of educational needs.
I have been donating what little I can spare from paychecks here and there for a few years now to several different Indian Schools. I went to a few of their websites and found that Campbell's Soup Labels and Box Tops for Education were also strongly encouraged to donate. The Reservations receive very little Federal funding, and it is mainly is given for meal rationing. The United States is willing to Bail out every Tom, Dick and Harry, however we give LOANS and CONTRACTS to the Tribes that we screwed in the first place.
Since I am fortunate enough to live in a Region with top rated schools, I made a conscience decision to collect Box Tops and Soup labels for the Indian Reservations and their schools. This is my second year in a row doing this, and I have managed to send off $48 worth of box tops this week in addition to my bi-monthly donations. Feels great to be able to give these kids a small Christmas present as well, at no additional cost to my wallet!
Each Box top is worth 10 cents and are located on various cereal boxes, diaper packages, snacks, etc. They are even on Cottonelle Toilet Paper wrappers. When I put my T.P. away, I immediately cut out Box Top and place it in cookie jar on kitchen counter. I cringe when I see them thrown in the trash now b/c it is essentially the same as throwing a dime away to me. At the end of the year, I place them in a sandwhich baggie and mail them off to School. School sends them in and gets to trade them in for equipment for their schools. Some items are as small as new crayons, to new computers.
So there you have it, a New Year's Resolution that's not about YOU for once and hence, more likely to stick to! LOL
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