Editorial: Bridging the poverty gap
In a world too-often dominated by the worst sides of human nature, it’s gratifying to happen upon a story that turns a spotlight on what we can accomplish when we’re at our best.
Here in Moffat County, we were treated last week to just such a story.
On Nov. 6, Moffat County United Way marked the graduation of its eighth Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World course, as the 12 most-recent graduates — joined by United Way board members, past program graduates, family and friends — gathered to celebrate.
And a celebration was certainly in order; the accomplishment of these 12 courageous people was no small feat.
Often, society-in-general’s attitude toward poverty is born of misunderstanding and reflects the preconceived — albeit erroneous — notion that those affected by it are somehow lacking in character, that they should simply try a little harder or work a little longer.
But it isn’t that simple. In fact, it isn’t simple at all. Many who live in poverty were born there; it’s the only world they’ve ever known, and existing in such a world day in and day out can, over time, become like an anchor, dragging back any attempt to rise above the waves.
That’s when people need a little help to help themselves, and that’s exactly what the Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World course is all about — people helping people.
Funded through United Way dollars and grant funds, the nine-week course offers area residents the resources, information, attitudes and support they need to free themselves from the pervasive bonds of poverty.
So our hats are off to the 12 newest graduates — as well as the many graduates who came before them. These are people who refused to be dragged back down, who, instead, found the courage to accept a hand up, then tackle the hard work required to chart a new and better course.
We also commend Moffat County United Way and Kristen Olson, it’s community impact coordinator, for offering that hand up and extending a lifeline to those who need it most. Olson bleeds passion for this program, and that’s a lot of the reason behind its success.
We are a societal species, we humans, and as such, we usually work best when we work together. So, perhaps we are at our finest, our noblest, when we find the compassion to extend a helping hand … or the courage take one.
Thank you, United Way, and thank you, graduates, for once again showing us that compassion and that courage.
Moffat County United Way is accepting applications for its next “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World” course through Dec. 29.