Children In Advocacy
Never underestimate the power of children to ignite change in our world. Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a group of children from Camp Carbon, a summer program through the Kindred Church in the Montrose District of Houston. As I spoke to these children about hunger, poverty, and low-income stereotypes, I noticed a marked difference in their thoughts on the subjects. Generally, when speaking to adults about these darker topics, their response is a desire for systemic change; how can we shape policies and laws to help those in need access more nutritious food. But, the response from children is more direct, a call to action; what can I do today to help?
Perhaps it’s their endless energy level or maybe they haven’t felt the sting of bureaucracy, but children want to hit the ground running and spark change now. When I asked, “What can you all do to help with hunger?” a young man replied that he’d like to go without his daily produce snacks for a week to know what it feels like to go without healthy food. Then he went further suggesting he give that uneaten fruit and vegetables to a friend that isn’t fortunate enough to get healthy snacks. Such an empathetic and personal response in our turbulent times nearly brought me to tears. Children believe in the power of change, understand their responsibility in this role, and that the world still holds endless possibilities for us all to have a better life than we did yesterday.
This is the beauty of children. Their ability to look at situations with unassuming eyes is something that should inspire us all. Poverty and food insecurity are complex and interconnected problems that can take years of study to understand all the causes and effects. However, the kids I sat down with had one simple solution that can motivate us all; it’s our own individual duty to help our neighbors, and we must start today.