What We Take for Granted

I've been largely absent from the blog for the last several months. Those of you who know me recognize that I've been focused on healing in the wake of a stroke I suffered in my spinal cord early in the morning of December 5.

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Jane SmithComment
Making Ends Meet on a Minimum Wage

One chapter in Suffer the Children describes the difficulties of living on a minimum-wage in America today.  The Massachusetts Institute of Technology living wage calculator estimates that a family with two adults and two children living in our previous home county in western Pennsylvania needs to have a yearly income of $33,257 to pay its basic expenses. That requires an hourly wage of $16, which is more than double the current minimum wage.

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Gary SmithComment
Helping Deadbeat Dads--A Father's Day Reflection

Growing up without a relationship with one’s father often has devastating consequences for children, especially boys.  Not having a father negatively affects both boys and girls.  Boys who fail to connect with their fathers because of their physical absence or emotional distance often experience “father hunger.”

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Gary SmithComment
Child Poverty in Pittsburgh

We all know the clichés: Children are the future, children are innocent, children are precious in God’s sight, children can be anything they want to be. Many children in today’s world, however, have very limited opportunities.

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Gary SmithComment
Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington

I had lunch today with Ben David, the district attorney for Hanover and Pender counties, which includes the Wilmington area.  In Suffer the Children we feature David’s terrific work to help children, focusing on two organization he created in Wilmington—Teen Court and the Blue Ribbon Commission for the Prevention of Youth Violence (BRC).

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Gary SmithComment
Adoptees: Chosen By Love

This weekend I ran with Tom Jaski.  Tom works for Ratio Christi (the reason for Christ), a Christian apologetics ministry which began five years ago and currently has chapters at about 500 colleges and high schools throughout the United States.

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Good News and Bad News from the Central African Republic

The good news is that although Ugandan and American troops have not been able to capture Joseph Kony, his Lord’s Resistance Army has been reduced from a peak of 3,000 soldiers to about 100 and no longer poses any significant threat to the residents of the Central African Republic, one of the continent’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.

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Gary SmithComment
Effectively Helping the Poor

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Bob Corker, a Republican senator from Tennessee, and Chris Coons, a Democratic senator from Delaware, discuss how best to help people who are victims of conflict in various parts of the world. 

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Gary SmithComment
Helping Refugee Children

When I wrote my chapter on neglected and orphaned children for Suffer the Children, I devoted only a few paragraphs at the end to Syria's child refugees. Forced to flee from the violence in their own streets, these children weren't technically neglected by their families. Many were orphaned, but sorting them out of the human flood was difficult at best. And, as I wrote then, the public was running hot and cold on the whole issue of refugee relief.

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Jane SmithComment
Stopping the Suffering of God’s Children

In ordering a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces launched an attack of sarin nerve gas killing more than 100 of his country’s citizens, including many children, President Donald Trump declared, “No child of God should ever suffer such horror.” 

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Gary SmithComment