There is an image currently being shared out on Facebook that people have been continually sharing but I don't think many of those sharing have really stopped to think about what it is the image says.
It's a solid black background with a candle that reads "In memory of the six homeless Americans that froze to death in Washington, DC last week while our millionaire representatives were voting to gut the Food Stamp program."
At the time of my reading it the post had been shared over 108,000 times and had over 11,000 likes. I saw a second group posting the same image which drew a few hundred additional likes and shares as I'm sure each of the many times it was shared around also did. Based on the small portion I saw it wouldn't be shocking to say over a quarter of a million people agreed with the message enough to either share it or like it. That's 250,000 people.
So the question I have is how many of those 250,000 plus people took the time to either donate to a shelter or food bank or volunteer their time helping the homeless? If they each gave just $4 they would have raised over a million dollars for the cause.
According to ThinkProgress there are currently 578,424 homeless people living in the US. Just helping two people each would solve the homeless problem.
That aside, let's back up for a moment and reread what the statement actually says.
"In memory of the six homeless Americans that froze to death in Washington, DC last week while our millionaire representatives were voting to gut the Food Stamp program."
How exactly would food stamps prevent someone from freezing to death?
Maybe I'm a little ignorant to how they work, being as I've been fortunate enough in my life never to need them, but having food and having a warm place to sleep are two different things, are they not?
Another fact to consider is that Washington, DC has the highest per capita income in the US. The fact that six homeless people died freezing to death there is not a reflection on laws but on the people in Washington, DC itself.
Think about that. What this meme is saying is that unless government passes more laws to spend our money they will not lift a finger to help out those in need.
And just where do those sharing this image think the money that those in DC are not giving willingly on their own will come from? From their own pockets? Of course not. If politicians pass new spending it comes from me and you. It will come in the form of new taxes, perhaps like those on cigarettes that lead to Eric Garner's death.
Here's an idea. How about posting internet memes about how Washington politicians have failed to force money out of your pockets to help the homeless you actually do something about it yourself without the government gun put to your head?
I'm issuing a challenge to everyone reading this, when you see something wrong in this country, instead of complaining about how government isn't doing enough to fix it, try this. Try to do a little to fix it yourself. Go up in your attic and dig out some old blankets or coats that you no longer use and give them to the local homeless shelters in your area, you can find some HERE. Find a local charity supporting the cause you find important and write a check freely of your own will, perhaps even volunteer at a fund raising event.
Stop complaining in 2015 about what others are failing to do for you and start doing more yourself!