Jesus said: "Would anyone among you offer your child a stone instead of bread? If you know how to give your children what is good for them, how much more will our loving God give good things to those who ask!"
-Matthew 7:9-11, paraphrased
The gospels tell us that Jesus valued children and their place in the community. However, children are still among the most vulnerable people in our society today. One in seven Canadian children lives in poverty.1 Despite being among the wealthiest nations, Canada is now ranked 24th out of 35 industrialized countries for the largest population of children living in poverty.2
For many children living in poverty this means not eating fresh fruits and vegetables every day, not having appropriate books to read, not enjoying after-school activities with friends, never getting new clothes, and owning only one pair of shoes. In the United Church we are working together to address child poverty in Canada. When we give to Mission and Service, we are supporting 35 Mission and Service partners across the country working to end poverty. These community and social justice ministries provide programs and services that support children and their families with food, clothing, housing, and more. Many of them also advocate with the government to establish poverty-reduction strategies.
Thank you for joining me by giving generously to Mission and Service to end child poverty and to honour Jesus' words.
1. Canada's Real Economic Action Plan begins with Poverty Eradication, 2013 Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Canada, Campaign 2000, Family Service Toronto.
2. UNICEF, Report Card 10: Measuring Child Poverty, May 2012.