This Is Why We Do What We Do
In supposedly the richest country in the world, 744,313 people are homeless on any given night, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 46.2 million Americans are now living in poverty. That number has grown by 2.6 million in just the last 12 months - the largest increase since the U.S. government began calculating poverty figures back in 1959. Some other important statistics:
The poverty rate for children living in the United States increased to 22% in 2010. That means that one out of every five U.S. children is living in poverty. Today one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line. Between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.
As one of the leading humanitarian organizations in the country, Volunteers of America produced two TV PSAs to publicize the state of poverty in America. The first of these, titled “Stats,“ shows startling statistics about hunger and homelessness with gritty photos of the less fortunate trying to survive, perhaps living in their cars or “dumpster diving” for food in trash bins. The second, titled “Speeches,” has brief excerpts from famous speeches about social justice including clips from Dr. Martin Luther King, President John F. Kennedy and noted social humanitarian Barbara Jordan. The third PSA titled: "America" features bold graphics about the work of Volunteers of America to help those in need, while "America the Beautiful" plays in the background.