PET MO-Columbia update: 6-2-15
PETs built since 1-1-15 # 594 (small & large crank and Pull versions)
POVERTY IS A MATTER OF CHOICE — AND SO IS AFFLUENCE.
The poor have fewer choices than the affluent. The position one has on the
economic scale can be measured by counting the number and kind of choices
one can make.
I am affluent. I can make a choice as to where I want to live, what
kind of house I will own, what kind of car I will drive, where I will
eat, what kind of health care I will have, the list goes on and on. I
am affluent. I have many, many choices.
Ernesto, in Guatemala, got polio at age seven, and for 37 years crawled
on the ground as a beggar. He had no other choices. Then he got a PET
and his choices opened up. He took it home and built a traveling snack
shop on it. Now he travels the busy streets, selling snacks and
supporting his family. He has many other choices he did not have for
those 37 years. (See attached original report and picture.)
Habitat for Humanity saw the poor living in terrible housing, with no
other choice. They developed a program to enable the poor to help build
their own houses in a decent neighborhood. Their choices ballooned.
Heifer project saw poor rural families with few choices, loaned them a
few cows, pigs, chickens, etc., and almost immediately they had more
choices. Children could eat better food, go to school and have decent
clothing. Gardens had manure, and income increased.
Rainbow Network finds rural families living with almost no choices, and
soon children are in school, gardens are providing food, medical care
is available, small loans are available, and they can choose to built
their own decent houses in a decent community on a good road that opens
up additional opportunities for choices.
Our sewing machines (under The Container Project) go to projects that
find women trapped with almost no choices, and set them up in a sewing
cooperative, decent housing, and new choices.
So– when someone says that “Being poor is a matter of choice,” say to them, “you are exactly right.” But then explain what you mean. I would say that WE HAVE A CHOICE OCCUPATION, VOLUNTEERING TO GIVE PEOPLE MORE CHOICES!
“Take care that you do not consume all of your energies and emotions seeking to be religious in worship, singing, study, prayer and meetings, and have little left over to follow our Lord’s command to care for His “least of these.” – Anon.
*** Latest news: The average amount per PET was chosen by our founder in 1994 at $250 and remained that way for over 20 years. In 2015 $300 is now mandated to better reflect today’s cost in production and shipping. It was highly discussed for months by PET International before the change was made for all PET sites as an average expense $ to promote. Our shop contributed information to this discussion. $300 is possible due to the great donations in volunteer labor and PET parts received every week. If it were not for these gifts, the overall cost per PET would be more than double.