oxfamEarlier today I was writing about #GivingTuesday. For those of you who may not know of it, #GivingTuesday is becoming a very special day on the fundraising calendar. This year, it’s on Tuesday, December 1st. And as in prior years, the world will unite to celebrate and support philanthropy.

At the same time, I was reminded that in one of the wealthiest countries, the United States, tonight over 1.6 million families with children will go to bed hungry. This came to light in an article published by Stanford, which you can find by clicking here.

These families live in extreme poverty. Globally, this type of poverty is equated with families that exist on as little as $2 a day. Remarkably, we have families in our country living this meager existence.

As we enter the holiday season, leading up to #GivingTuesday, I want to feature some great organizations. We can do better. As a country, we have to do better for these and other families and our children.

Today, I want to feature Oxfam America. On their website, they explain that the poverty rate in the United States is now at the highest level in two generations. Click here for information specific to our country.

  • Fifty million families live on incomes below the federal poverty level ($11,722 for an individual and $23,497 for a family of four).
  • One in four children, meaning 16 million children, live below the official poverty line in the United States.
  • In 2013, Oxfam commissioned a report and these were some of the findings:
  • America’s working poor have a strong work ethic and put in long working hours.
  • However, many are trapped in a cycle where they work hard but are unable to get ahead.
  • Many working poor are currently in jobs that pay even less than their previous jobs.
  • An overwhelming majority of Americans believe they are more likely to fall out of the middle class rather than rise into it

Oxfam America has three core programs in the United States.

  1. Decent Work/Farmworker Rights – Individuals who work on farms work in the most unhealthy and underpaid occupations. In this program, Oxfam is advocating for workers’ rights and welfare.
  1. Gulf Coast Recovery and Restoration – In 2010, the Gulf suffered the BP oil spill and was still trying to recover from Hurricane Katrina. Oxfam continues to support the Gulf States and help people recover, restore and rebuild. 80 percent of the U.S. counties that have persistent poverty are located in the Gulf Coast States according to the organization.
  1. Working Poor – Oxfam conducts critical research about the working poor in America. These efforts are then translated into initiatives to lobby government and help educate the media and public.

During this upcoming holiday season, we should all look to help each other move forward. We all depend on each other for success.

If you’re interested in donating to Oxfam America for #GivingTuesday, click here.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Be Bold, Dominate and Succeed in Marketing For Today’s Digital World On A Limited Budget”.

© 2015 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.