Could you pay for your food and drinks with only $1.50 per day? Now, imagine paying for your housing, healthcare, food, drinks, education, transportation and virtually everything that you need for basic survival with just $1.50 each day. Could you? This is the sad reality of millions of people worldwide living in extreme poverty. During the next five days, we will be supporting the Global Poverty Project by joining the Live Below the Line Challenge. From May 7, 2012 through Friday, May 10th—I will live below the extreme poverty line—in terms of food and drink.
I realize that government assistance factors in significantly for the people in the United States living in extreme poverty. I also accept the argument that some of those people living in extreme poverty in the United States do little to help themselves—and should. Unfortunately, I also realize that there are those living in extreme poverty—or nearly at that level—who are in those situations by no real fault of their own. In today's economy, many families are literally paychecks away from homelessness.
I realize also that participating in this challenge is a bit meaningless. While I will eat according to the poverty level—I have an air conditioned home, a mini-van full of gasoline, clothes and shoes, furniture, the internet, television, books, a college degree… You get the idea. And I get the idea as well—but, if by completing this challenge, my own daughters consider the realities of poverty or it inspires others to think about those less fortunate—then it’s worthwhile.
The Living Below the Line Challenge is about more than skipping coffee house coffee for a week. It’s about social awareness. It’s about “what-if’s” and empathy. It’s about understanding and appreciating what we have so that we may advocate for others. If you are interested in donating to the Live Below the Line Challenge—or in joining the challenge yourself—visit Live Below the Line for more information.