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An article [from the Community Foundation] is trying to encourage and persuade people in Loudoun County to donate to charities that will benefit the needy in our communities. This approach fails in this attempt, because being charitable isn’t about keeping our poverty rate at 3.7 percent. It is about helping the dad who is struggling to make ends meet, so he takes his family to the local food pantry instead of the grocery store.

We shouldn’t be striving to “get ahead of this curve” or to “lower that number”; we should being striving to help the individual. Whether we know them or not, we need to keep in mind that we are talking about a person, not a number.

When we talk about numbers, there is a disconnect between us and them. When we bring in the story behind that number; the foreclosure, the job loss, something that we can connect to, there is meaning found there.

Yes, of course we need to help the needy. Encouraging people to donate 3 percent of their income to charity annually, to “move this needle,” isn’t the way to make progress in terms of this issue.

Kathleen Blackburn



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