Thursday, July 23, 2015
NO MONEY VERSUS BEING POOR
Growing up in rural Nebraska in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it seemed we had very little money. But it didn’t feel like we were poor. We had two pairs of jeans, one pair of shoes for work and another for Sunday, and enough to eat. Operating the dairy allowed our family to keep the farm while our friends and neighbors went broke and moved to California.
When we sponsored the foreign military students at Ft. Leavenworth, we made some terrific friends and met some great people. One of the couples we met were educators at a small town north of Leavenworth, and they described a situation that would be defined, in my book, as “poor.”
The little girl came to the first day of third grade in shabby clothes and had only a bag of chips for lunch. Upon inquiring the teachers found out that she and her family had just moved there and the reason she had no “real” food was because they didn’t have a refrigerator.
The teachers and administrators took up a collection, bought a second hand refrigerator and delivered it to the family. They were thrilled, and the little girl started to come to school with good lunches. Then, one day, it looked like things had really changed because she showed up with a new dress and new shoes.
“Looks like you got a new dress?”
“Yep. We sold the refrigerator.”