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Prayer Request for Christmas in KY - End Poverty

December 24, 2008

Frankfort, KY – A leading children's advocate is calling for a Christmas prayer for Kentucky, and the nation, to end poverty.

The prayer request comes from Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman, who says it's time to raise a "mighty voice" to reset what she calls the "greed" that has led to the current economic downturn, which is hitting kids hard. The National Center for Children in Poverty reports that 43 percent of the state's kids live in poor families.

"Hey, we've got some big, big problems. Open your eyes and stop being short-sighted and trying to get everything you can for this minute, while the foundation is rotting."

Edelman says that, at a time when the world celebrates the birth of the most famous poor baby in history, it must be noted that the gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at its widest ever recorded. That hurts today's babies, according to Edelman.

"You cannot have 13 million children growing up in poverty, nine million children without basic health care, you cannot have a majority of all your children not reading at grade level in 12th grade."

Edelman says that, for those who still have jobs, too many are working full-time and still don't have enough
to avoid losing their homes, to buy health coverage, or to pay for quality child care.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - KY