Growing Up Poor

In the affluent United States, there are about 12 million poor children who struggle to survive everyday. Here are some ways you can help.

November 15, 2004 -- Nearly 35 million Americans live in poverty--12 million of them children. That's almost 17 percent of all kids, a rate that's among the highest in the industrialized world. The sobering statistics don't stop there. An estimated 15 million more kids live in families that have an income above the official poverty line but that are still barely scraping by.

"We're the richest nation on earth, and yet millions of children wake up every morning wondering if there will be food on the table or a doctor to care for them if they get sick," says Mark K. Shriver, a vice president of Save the Children. "Many of these kids lack the most basic resources for a healthy, productive life: decent housing, reliable health car, adequate schools, even safe drinking water and sanitation systems."

To provide these children with the basics they need for survival, here are four charities consider worthy:

Save the Children

A nonprofit humanitarian relief and development organization working in more than 40 countries and the United States to create lasting, positive change in the lives of children in need.

National Head Start Association

A private not-for-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families. Head Start is a national program that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.

Children's International

A nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children living in dire poverty.

Children's Defense Fund

A private, nonprofit organization that works toward reducing the numbers of neglected, sick, uneducated, and poor children in the United States.

*Please note: If you want to give a dress to Glenda Canales, profiled in the October issue of Parents magazine, you can send it to her daycare center: Neighborhood Centers Inc., 6565 Rookin Street, Houston, TX 77074. To help all of the children profiled in the October issue of Parents magazine, please contact Save the Children.

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