LIFT Annual Report 2012: oneLIFT - Page 11

Why Cassie LIFTs This is my story: no statistics, no political appeals, I just want to let you into my life a little bit. I have a very blessed life—I’ve attended highranking educational institutions, I lived in a safe neighborhood growing up, and I have a great career ahead of me. But what you might not know is that my family and I are living below the federal poverty line. Another thing you might not know is that several of your friends are, too. My parents have had decent jobs, but after my dad became disabled, we have relied on thrifty spending, extra work, and government assistance. I helped my parents pay my high school tuition by washing lunch tables every day and earning scholarships when I entered. I attended a private college on scholarship and by working through my university and during the summers. I have a lot, there’s no denying that. But if my mom lost her job, we’d have no steady household income, no health insurance, we would lose our house, and we’d be living off of the social security money they give my dad. Cassie ANANDAPPA LIFT-CHICAGO Even though I’m talking about me, this is the situation for many Americans, including the middleand upper-class people in this country with degrees and work experience who have lost their jobs, their homes, or their health these past few years. These people are good, hard-working citizens who have unfortunate events happen in their lives and who need help getting back on their feet. Poverty isn’t just about people pan-handling on the street or holding up cardboard signs asking for food or a job. There is no one image for poverty. I’m living proof. Imagine someone you love—a parent, a sibling, a friend—who has a comfortable life. Now imagine that person got sick, lost their job and health insurance, and had to sell everything, even their home. The shelter where they are now staying wouldn’t even let them keep their dog. Imagine how they would feel. Likely alone and confused, they might not know what to do next, who to call, or who would even be willing to help them. And poverty could mean you, your friend, or your next-door neighbor who are trying their best but are lacking the resources to really turn their lives around. If you choose to support LIFT by funding us, please know that your support means real impact on our work. It supports the physical resources— computers, phones, office space, paper supplies, fax machines, etc.—to help our community. As you consider donating, please think about my story or even your own and know that you would be making a difference in lives everyday. To watch Cassie tell her story scan the QR code or visit www.liftcommunities.org/newyork It’s the little things—helping people write a resume, making phone calls, providing resources, and being an emotional support— that help people help themselves, and give them some of the opportunities that most of us have. Sometimes they’re even as small as using the internet or knowing who to contact when searching for housing. By doing this, LIFT tries to fight poverty. LIFT IMPACT REPORT 2012 9