Poverty: Something more than just an activity


Staff Writer

Kyle Wiebers | Contributing Writer

On February 18, 2015, a poverty simulation took place on campus. I, among other students, participated in this two-hour experience to better understand the life of the impoverished around us. There were approximately 10-15 family units in this poverty simulation, the family unit I was placed into was myself, who was a 21 year old male, who along with twin 13 year old sisters and an infant baby brother were left to care for ourselves after our mother had walked out and our father was in jail.

This simulation opened not only my eyes, but the eyes of everyone there as to what life below the poverty line is like. In the reflection period, which was after the actual simulation was complete, there were important ideas discussed that I believe everyone should know.

It is a common misconception that people in poverty are lazy and that is why they are poor. This is not true. Thrown into being the main caretaker for my family unit, I was constantly busy, and had little time to stop at home and check on my younger siblings, and limited time after I got off of work to get the necessities a family needs. While there are always outliers to statements like this, it is fair to say that those people living below the poverty line are in fact, working very hard to keep afloat amidst our healing economy.

Many times, the fact that a family unit is considered to be in poverty is not a direct result of their actions. For example, the family unit into which I was placed, it was none of the four children’s faults that we were struggling to survive, but yet we were left to suffer and deal with the situation by ourselves.

With these things in mind, and with Buenafication Day approaching, I think it is important as the BVU community to consider the greater community of Storm Lake when it comes to poverty, and to reach out a helping hand to those who need it most. Buenafication Day is a great day to help those affected by poverty in the area around us. It is important for us to support those who need a helping hand, as I discovered throughout the simulation, ever little gesture or service helps. The BVU community need not wait until Buenafication Day in April to help the impoverished in our area. There is no time like the present to begin to help those who need it most.