Poverty in the United States
Apr11

Poverty in the United States

When one thinks of poverty, they probably think about countries in the Middle East, Africa or Asia. They picture the commercials of starving children and how $3 can feed them for an entire week. When one thinks of poverty, they do not think of the United States. When people think of the United States, they think of the hustle and bustle of cities like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. They think of the suburban lifestyle. They think of the “American Dream.” Even people who live in the United States don’t think of the poverty that surrounds us. But the harsh reality is that there are more than 43 million Americans living in poverty. That’s a lot of people in poverty. If you added the populations of California and Oklahoma, you would get around 43 million. It is unacceptable for a country that is as highly developed as America to have a poverty rate that is at nearly 13 percent. According to the CIA, the United States is ranked number 20 for highest gross domestic profit per capita. There are many countries in the world that ranked lower on the list in terms of GDP, yet they have a lower poverty rate. For instance, according to The World Factbook, countries such as Canada, Austria and Serbia have poverty rates that are all under 10 percent. If the United States ranks so high on lists when it comes to statistics regarding economy, why is it that the United States still has such a high poverty rate? According to a 2012 article in the New York Times, one of the greatest causes is because many Americans are working minimum wage jobs. These jobs don’t allow for a livable income for a single person, much less a single person with children. According to that same article, this has been a problem in the United States since the 1970s. America is one of the most developed countries in the world. Yet 13 percent of the population live under the poverty line. Many people are focused on giving charity to other countries. This can be helpful. However, those people focused on charity tend to forget that there are people in their own country that are suffering as well. For the U.S. to help other impoverished countries most effectively, they first need to help their home front. When the poverty rate in America is lowered, it will allow America to be an even more successful...

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The real meaning behind charity
Apr11

The real meaning behind charity

It’s 2018. Why is poverty still a major challenge? Why are third world countries still struggling? Every year, kind-hearted people box up old clothes and donate money to send to these countries, but we’re not seeing results. Poverty, Inc., a documentary by Michael Miller and Mark Weber that has received 30 film festival honors and won 11 awards, attempts to address this problem. According to the documentary, the reason we are not seeing results is, because emergency disaster relief has become a permanent model. The documentary suggests that it might be time to stop sending clothes, money and shoes to third world countries. According to Huffington Post, the East African Community made up of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burandi, and Rwanda, have proposed to ban all imported used clothing by 2019. According to the same article, (Goldberg, 2016), the clothes that are being donated are being resold for extremely low prices such as in the Gikomba Market, located in East Africa. The article said that jeans can retail for as low as $1.50 at the market, which is between five to 10 percent of a new clothing item made in Kenya. Movie stars, presidents, pastors, non-profit institutions, and just regular people push to send more items to developing countries. But it may not encourage new economies if goods are handed over for free. It was pointed out in the Poverty, Inc. film that these countries don’t need fish handed to them; they need to be taught how to grow a fish economy. I agree. We can’t keep treating these countries like they are in a permanent state of disaster. They shouldn’t be treated as the beggars under the global table, when they deserve a seat at the table. These countries are rich in natural resources that can make a profit. Africa holds approximately 30 percent of the world’s natural resources. It is rich with diamonds, gold, nickel, titanium, oil and gas (Aljazeera.com). Haiti’s natural resources include bauxite, copper, calcium, carbonite, gold and marble (Haitigeo). As a society, we need to rediscover the true meaning of charity. Charity isn’t only about writing checks or sending over a box of used clothing to Africa or Haiti. According to Weber, co-filmmaker of Poverty, Inc., the Latin root word of charity is “caritas,” meaning love. 1 Corinthians states: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” We must stop letting those we help become faceless and nameless. Real love is more than writing a check. Real love is about getting more involved than just a one-time visit. We really should look at how to love others...

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Recounting alumni’s life/career path
Apr11

Recounting alumni’s life/career path

Kari Sanders (formerly known as Kari Reitmeyer) is a 2004 alumna who graduated with a degree in business administration and a minor in marketing. She attended a small Baptist high school so she knew that she wanted to attend a smaller Christian college. While attending UMHB, Sanders participated in many events and intramural sports such as football, ultimate Frisbee and softball intramurals. Sanders also went to Mexico with the School of Business to study small businesses in developing countries and ended up meeting her husband, Keith Sanders (also class of 2004) on the trip. Since graduating, she married her husband, moved to Waco and the two started an insurance agency together. They have two children Austin, 9, and Abigail, 2. Both parents both serve on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) board in Waco. “I knew since high school that I wanted to be in marketing. I have done different variations of marketing at each company and I have enjoyed them all,” Kari Sanders said. “I am still very happy that I chose marketing. It was the right path for me.” After graduating, Kari Sanders began working in the advertising and sales department at Time Warner Cable in Harker Heights and transferred over to the marketing department in Waco within a year as a marketing coordinator. Afterward, she transferred to The Dwyer Group as a marketing specialist and was promoted to a brand manager focusing on national franchise marketing. After nine years at Dwyer, Sanders decided it was time to try something else and moved over to Raising Cane’s. “[As a marketing advisor,] I support restaurants by assisting with national marketing campaign coordination, negotiating collegiate and high school sponsorships, developing local marketing/community involvement strategies and much more,” Sanders said. “I am field-based, meaning I do not drive into the office in Plano every day. I work from home when I am not visiting the restaurants that I support. My territory ranges from south DFW to College Station.” Sanders explained that each project she works on takes several months of planning and grand openings are usually the biggest events she plans. When preparing to open a new restaurant, Sanders must first develop marketing plans for it, as well as coordinate any events that will take place during the opening, such as the first 100 customers receive a T-shirt, etc. Her more recent projects involved opening the Temple restaurant in 2016 and the Copperas Cove restaurant in 2017. Sanders also said that later this year a Raising Cane’s will make its grand debut in Harker...

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Student amputee shares personal struggles and accomplishments
Apr11

Student amputee shares personal struggles and accomplishments

Emily Parker describes her life beginning after her surgery to remove her leg. She described her childhood as always being in pain, never being able to keep up with her classmates, and constantly dealing with the term “disabled.” Parker was born with a genetic disease, neurofibromatosis, which caused her tibia to break when she was nine months old. Parker and her family tried to fight the disease for 10 years while enduring 14 surgeries in the process. Multiple techniques were used to heal her leg, like casts, braces, bone rods and halo devices. After the second halo device was placed, her leg did actually heal for about a year. It wasn’t until a roller skating accident that it broke again because the bone itself was so brittle and fragile. Emily said she didn’t even realize the bone had broken again because the pain was not excruciating. Emily and her mother both went to the hospital soon after where they were given two options: a third halo device implant or amputation. Emily said she remembers thinking the halo device might have worked but amputation was a definite answer to life without suffering. She knew she would have a life outside her disability. After the surgery, Parker had to learn how to walk again, as if learning how to walk for the first time in her life. As she began this new experience, reality set in. “It was like –‘Wow. This is my life now. And this is how it is going to be forever.’ ” Parker currently serves in an amputee mentorship program. She says serving new amputees is one of her biggest passions in life. When giving them advice, she points out the realization that each amputee’s life is not over, it is a new beginning. She mentioned the hardest part is coping with the fact that a physical limb is now gone from the person’s body. Amputees can look at it as cutting away the wrong that is harming their body. Another piece of advice would be to find a physical activity that the amputee is passionate about. For Parker, that was snow skiing. Snow skiing was the first physical activity she was able to try and overcome. If being an amputee has taught Parker anything, it is that she can do anything she sets her mind to. She will have to make some adjustments in certain activities, but other than minor issues, the sky is the limit. Parker definitely credits amputation as her new form of confidence. “Being an amputee has really given me a true sense of purpose and life to where I am able to...

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Easter Pageant showcases the Gospel to community and globe
Apr11

Easter Pageant showcases the Gospel to community and globe

It came close, but the annual UMHB Easter Pageant has never been stopped by bad weather in all of its 79 year history. This year was no exception after all the rain in the morning and the night before. Though rain storms delayed the first showing by forty-five minutes, prayers were answered as the three performances of the play about Jesus’ life were performed that afternoon under clearing skies, just like the first performance in 1940. Although the noon showing was delayed 45 minutes due to rain storms, there were still three performances that went as planned on the afternoon of March 28, just as it has since 1940. That year, Easter Pageant began providing the surrounding community of UMHB with the extraordinary opportunity to witness the retelling of Jesus’ life. Every year people come together from near and far to acknowledge and celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as students at the university perform the story based on the ultimate sacrifice. This was the second year that live-streaming of the play was seen by people across the world. Last year’s performance generated around 31,503 viewers, who came from 22 states and six countries, including Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Ghana, Nigeria and Germany. According to the university’s website, 1,000 streamers watched an entire performance online this year. In addition, 5,000 people attended Easter Pageant on campus. One attendee, Lois Williams of Belton, has lived in the area for eight years. “I think I’ve only missed one year since we’ve moved here,” Williams said. “I just love the story and the commitment of all the students who put it on, and I have three little grandsons who live here who come with us with our kids. I look forward to their response to the Easter story.” Another audience member, Cynthia Tryon, is the advisor for the Association of Black Students on campus and has been coming to Easter Pageant for eleven years. “I look forward to the scene where the tomb is rolled away, and Jesus comes out,” Tryon said. “I love the part where they always invite everyone to come to Jesus, to invite Him to their hearts.” The performances that were livestreamed are up on the website and are still available to be viewed. Alyssa Silva, who works for the media services at the university, helped film Easter Pageant, and said that she learned a lot from the process. “Last year, I was a part of the special make-up team and I was up close and personal with Jesus,” Silva said. “I saw firsthand what was happening behind the scenes and the emotional draining Jesus went through....

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Circle K teams up with Threads of Hope
Mar07

Circle K teams up with Threads of Hope

Circle K International is an organization on campus that engages with the community through various service projects. A unique aspect of this club is that it is run entirely by the student body. Shelby Rogers, a senior psychology major, is the Vice President of Circle K. “Circle K is an international volunteer organization. We aim to serve anyone from our community to our world,” Rogers said. Sophomore education major Naomi Michaelson and sophomore Christian studies major Jordyn Brinkman are both members of this club. “We are the college version of Key Club, which is a service organization for high school students,” Brinkman said. “Above us is Kiwanis Club, which is for adults. We do a lot of fun service projects like bake sales and volunteering at animal shelters.” “This is really cool for us because we have a lot of opportunities to get together with clubs from Baylor, Hardin Simmons, MCC and others,” Michaelson said. One project that Circle K puts on every year is selling bracelets and lanyards that are hand crafted by women and children from the Philippines through Threads of Hope. Circle K sponsors Threads of Hope, which is an organization that supports those who are living in the Philippines by promoting these accessories. Throughout the month of February, Circle K set up a table in Bawcom Student Union to sell these items to students. Rogers described the significance of these bracelets and lanyards in more detail. “Threads of Hope is an organization that provides a wholesome way for women and children in the Philippines to make an income for their families,” Rogers said. “This allows them to not have to resort to other methods such as child labor or prostitution to make this income which is common in the Philippines.” These accessories ranged from $2 to $4, and half of the proceeds went back to the Filipino families who made these bracelets and lanyards. The other half of the sale went to Circle K International for event funding. Circle K is a great way to get involved in helping the community. “My favorite part of Circle K has been getting to know others while we serve together,” Michaelson said. “Circle K provides us with so many service opportunities where we’re able to work hard, but also have a super fun time.” “People can get involved by coming to our meetings on Thursday nights at 7:30 in Bawcom Conference Room 1,” Rogers said. If you are interested in joining this organization, they are always looking for more...

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