Donate My Dollars: Jobs for Americans
This poll is now closed. The GoErinGo! Fund gave a donation of $250 to Goodwill Industries of the Greater Bay Area (Oakland) and a $250 donation to Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida (Ft. Myers) < Your vote! Thank you for participating in the latest Donate My Dollars poll!
This month I’m giving a $250 donation to Goodwill Industries in Oakland, CA, and $250 to another Goodwill affiliate of your choice. Just vote within the next 30 days to help direct the second donation!
Which American city deserves job training?
- Ft. Myers, Florida (70%, 21 Votes)
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin (17%, 5 Votes)
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (13%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 30
I’m motivated to give to workforce development because on Sunday I watched Bill Moyer’s Frontline special “Two American Families,” now airing on local PBS stations. The documentary follows two families, the Neumanns and the Stanleys of Milwaukee, Wisconsin for two decades, providing an inside peek at America’s new Middle Class. It was shocking and sobering and shameful.
Can’t see the video? Click on this link: Two American Families
Starting in 1991, the filmmakers chronicled the downward spiral of these families as the breadwinners lost their jobs as factories in America’s industrial heartland shut down. Unfortunately the initial layoffs are just the start of the families’ hardship, as each successive job pays a lower wage and offers fewer benefits. As viewers, we have a ringside seat as the families fall into the pit of poverty.
As a business professional living in an affluent area of San Francisco and working downtown, I sometimes forget how lucky I am. I don’t see the struggles that many Americans face. I don’t know firsthand the agony of foreclosure or the pain of seeing my children hungry. I don’t experience the angst of making the tough decision on whether to forgo electricity or gas for the car at the end of each month.
Underemployment in America
The Two American Families documentary reminded me that all is not right in America. Our economy might be improving and unemployment might be falling, but these aren’t necessarily good jobs—jobs with a livable wage and healthcare and retirement benefits. Too many Americans are still struggling.
Currently, there are 11.8 million Americans looking for work. And the ones who are finding jobs are killing themselves just to try and make ends meet, barely getting by on minimum wage and government support programs. My rose-tinted glasses can’t hide the fact that America may no longer be the land of opportunity. This crushes me.
This stark look at the lives of working class American families has motivated me to give a donation to Goodwill Industries, a national organization providing job training, employment experience and life skills to help disadvantaged and disabled individuals achieve self-sufficiency. The goal of the organization is to help those who face significant barriers to employment, such as limited education, to enter workforce development programs.
I know my small gift won’t go far toward ending the plight of expanding poverty in this country. But it is an acknowledgement that we can’t simply sit by and watch our fellow Americans work hard and earn less.
Please participate in the giving challenge today and vote for the city that you feel deserves the matching donation of $250. Help parents like Terry and Jackie and Claude to find a job that pays them a livable wage so they can support their families. Let’s not succumb to the idea that our country has become the land of misfortune for millions of Americans.
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 11th, 2013 and is filed under Donate My Dollars.