As the founder of Heightened Hearts, I’ve seen first-hand the deteriorating impacts of poverty on families and communities. If you’ve worked in similar conditions, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, it’s hard to describe what poverty does to those in need. In this post, I want to share with you what it means to observe poverty and why this knowledge has emboldened me to start the Heightened Hearts Foundation.
Poverty isn’t just about not having things that make you comfortable – it’s about not having enough to meet your most basic needs. For children who experience this situation, things like homelessness, food insecurity, lack of warmth, and inadequate schooling are daily realities. The mindset of the family is survival, and decisions about how to spend limited resources are made from a short-term perspective. For children, this creates a lack of long-term planning – even questions like how they are spending their summer, what they want to do when they grow up, where they would like to visit – may not have ever crossed their minds. When the focus is just on getting through one day to the next, it can leave a sense of despair for everyone in a family.
That’s the true damage of poverty – even with programs and crisis support, poverty continues to impact the family by preventing them from seeing a way out. And when the light at the end of the tunnel is dim, it can create something far worse than a hungry tummy – hopelessness. Desperation. Fear.
That’s my motivation for doing all that I can to help those in need; to bring needed services and supports to those experiencing poverty. No child should worry about where they will sleep or what they will eat, and no child should feel like life will continue to be a cycle of stress and fear. By providing concerted and effective programs to impoverished families, we aren’t just helping to meet their basic needs. We are instilling hope. With every interaction, we’re helping children and their parents to have the courage to look down that tunnel again and find the light awaiting them.
I implore you – what motivates you to give? What makes you desire to see the world become a better place? Because without your support, we can only do so much. I’m asking that we work together, hand in hand, to stop putting band-aids on gaping wounds. Families in poverty need so much more than that, and with planning and careful work, we have the power to create meaningful and impactful changes to the path those in need can take. We all deserve to have that hope, and for us, we have the power to make this a reality.