Charity Begins at Home

This morning, the news reported that Manitoba was the most charity giving province in Canada. This information brought me back to 2012, when I taught in a Northern Winnipeg school for a year. I observed students and their parents or guardians who were really struggling financially. But whenever the school had a fundraiser, the whole community was so generous. I taught in similar schools in Australia, where a third of the parents in my grade were not only on welfare but were incarcerated. Kids were al- ways telling me when mum or dad was, ‘getting out’.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that low socio-economic communities are the first to give when someone is down on their luck. At my last school before I came to Canada, I was in an upper middle-class area, where the average home cost $600,000+. Most 6-year old students had their own iPad.

And yet the school struggled to get parents to volunteer for the school’s annual fair. They were too busy making money for their ridiculously high mortgages. We could all wonder why this happens in our societies. Are poorer people more sympathetic be- cause they know what it feels like to be struggling? Is the social class system in many countries at a point where people are so removed from each other, they don’t notice deprivation and others in need?

Last time I looked, we’re all on this planet together.

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