Today's post is of a very serious nature. I apologize for being the instigator of lots of emotional pain on your behalf. Grab a kleenex, you are going to need it.
See, there are children in this world who are suffering. Unimaginable conditions, lack of proper food, none of the basic necessities for normal living- these all join together to make for a very devastating life for a young child.
I am getting all choked up just thinking about the life this child is forced to endure. Please prepare yourself for what you are about to read.
This is Allyson. She lives in a small village just outside of Indianapolis. She shares a single family home with the rest of her entire family- all 5 of them total- in a roughly 1800 square foot home. That is only 360 square feet per person- hardly enough room for a growing, hormonal child.
To make matters worse, she is forced to share a bedroom (just typing that brings tears to my eyes) with her sister. The horror. The walls are a pale lilac color, the quilts on the beds are of horrible girly girl colors, and there are even flowers (gasp!) on her window coverings. Conditions that are obviously unimaginable to many of us, and yet she is forced to sleep in these meager conditions every day. I've even heard tales of wild animals being in said room.......
Despite the obvious attic space that could (in theory) be converted into a fourth bedroom for this child- her family continues to spend their wealth on other things (heat, groceries, mortgage payments) rather than sink everything into a renovation. This poor poor child.
Most mornings, Allyson is forced to rise early enough to help her family tend their home. While many of us can not imagine having such grown up responsibilities at the young age of 10, this childs life is very different.
She is required to place all of her dirty laundry into one laundry hamper located also in her already overly crowded bedroom, pull her repulsive bed covers over her mattress, and every night after dinner, Allyson must slave away for minutes while loading the entire families dishes into a dish washing contraption. To say her day is full of hard work is a complete farce, um, I mean understatement.
Meals are only prepared and served to her three times a day. Any required snacks that she desires, she is required to prepare- for herself people. And when the meals are served, they are almost unedible. Lots of vegetables, fruits and meats- hardly ever the necessary tater tots and cheese that her young growing body craves. She is very limited on soda pop, and most days is forced to drink milk or fruit juice- or worse yet, WATER. Yes- you did read that right, her family sometimes forces her to drink water. It's impressive that her frail body has managed to sustain itself in these conditions for all this time.
All of this is in addition to the fact that she has no television in her bedroom, which forces her to make choices with her siblings on which cable television program they will watch together- in the family room of all places. There is only one computer in the home, forcing them to share it equally (can you imagine?), AND, to make matters even worse, she is continually denied her own private email account. Clearly these conditions are restricting this childs ability to thrive.
She does not even have a cell phone. No cell phone people. When she wants to communicate with others in her age group- she is forced to either use the house phone (I shake my head in disbelief) or write a note- like with an actual pencil and paper.
And just this week, Allyson was told that she would not receive more than $30 toward a replacement pair of foot protection. Any more that the shoes cost, she would have to actually pay for herself. Her parents claim that it is because they already provided a pair of overpriced foot protection less than 6 months ago, and she has worn them out. Instead of instantly running out and swiping their charge cards at whatever her heart desires- they actually suggested she wear her old pair of tennis shoes that still fit her. This is bordering on abuse.
Allyson's family lives with something called a 'budget'. For those of you who have endless disposable income, I will explain this concept. It means that they must review all of the options to spend their income on and make decisions on what they will actually buy and when. This clearly limits the endless supply of wants, I mean, needs this child has. The main need that this child is really struggling with is her obvious requirement to vacation in California (like all the movie stars) and her familys lack of desire, I mean ability, to provide her with it. It is a sad sad world for this young lady.
If the conditions in this child's home become any worse- they may actually be forced to move into a cardboard box in order to continue to pay for all of the after school activities that these children are forced to participate in. Even piano. The horror. This poor innocent child is weekly required to sit through a 30 minute piano lesson. Many of us as adults could not handle this kind of environment.
Won't you consider sponsoring this child? Without you- she may be forced to continue to live in a 'babyfied room' and continue communicating like a caveman. There is even talk by her parents of shutting off....prepare yourselves.... the cable TV again. Needless to say, her tears were immediate upon hearing this news (confirming what her mother knew all along- it is time for it to go!)
You will need to act fast.
I apologize for sending you on this emotional rollercoaster today. You were probably unaware that children were actually forced to live in these conditions, right here in our own country. That is why I found is so important to share her story with you today.