JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Habitat for Humanity offers low-mortgage home ownership for disadvantaged families who agree to help build the home.
Toy drives provide new toys for children who otherwise might not get any presents under the Christmas tree.
Programs abound to assist underprivileged families, or put a smile on their face. But according to the teacher of the "Bridges Out of Poverty" workshop at Calvary Ministries in Jackson, a pile of separate programs won't be as effective as one comprehensive effort to change the mindsets of the poor.
Instructor Karin Van Zant of the "Move the Mountain" organization out of Illinois says we all need to step up. "The community needs to start taking care of the Smith family. What are the things Mrs. Smith and her children need in order to be successful instead of going to 12 different places for it? How can we pull that together for a community, make sure the whole family is moving forward?" she says.
Van Zant is teaching professionals how to better serve the disadvantaged they work to help.
Brenda Hannah of South Jackson is learning how to start taking action herself. "Teaching me a little more about budgeting, which I need!" she says.
Hannah will also take a separate 13-week class at Voice of Calvary. In the class, Brenda will not just be looking at her own situation, she'll be examining the poverty of those who live around her as well. After the class, she'll help herself, and others.
"Once you get your mind (thinking), even though I came from a poor background, I don't have to stay in this situation," she says. "It's about making up your mind and doing something about it, not just thinking about it."
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