by Dennis Townsend, Contributing Writer
During the holiday season we have a tendency to go all out in our attempts to make this holiday season better than the last one, even if it means going into debt to do so. It is a time of family closeness, and we become far to aware that some relatives may not be here another year. So we are determined to create a lasting, happy memory for the seniors of the family. We see the television commercials showing families gathered around the perfect Christmas tree and a dining table overflowing with food, and all seems right in the world. These are treasured moments indeed and we would do well to enjoy every bit of it because all is not right in the world, and we are headed for an uncertain future. And if you have young children, how did you explain the violence that’s happening in a world that was singing “Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men"?
How did you tell your children that Santa would be safe as he flew across the skies with Rudolph and that nose shining bright? How do you tell the children that they will be safe and that nothing bad will happen to them while they are attending an event at school? While those may be difficult questions to answer, there is no harder question to answer than the question, why don’t we have any food to eat? We have come to define the holiday season as being a happy time and it is for most, but there are millions who spent Christmas hungry, cold and alone. In a perfect world, there would be no hunger and everybody would have a giant Christmas tree with lots of presents underneath and the word terrorist would never be spoken. But alas, the world is far from perfect and that’s why it’s so important that we make sure that during these troubling times we endeavor not to tarnish the hopes and the dreams of our youngest people. The message that we need to keep sending is yes Virginia, in spite of what you see, dreams still can come true.
Educating our children about the evils in the world is a job better left to parents, not social media. Molding and shaping young minds is a delicate task these days, and we all know what could happen with the wrong teachings. And we should remember that some children are smart enough to know that household circumstances make it impossible to get that new X-Box like the kid down the street. And since every story has villains and heroes it should be very easy to explain to your children that there are bad people everywhere in the world and that there are just as many heroes and that good always wins. Life is full of ups and downs and by taking time to explain this to your children they will understand the meaning of hard times and the values of having morals and knowing right from wrong. Best of all you show them that no matter how gloomy the picture, they may see you suffer, but it is important that they never see you give up hope. Teach the children well.
Should all schools serve breakfast in this way to reduce childhood hunger?
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by Linda St.Cyr, Contributing Writer
On September 9th, Morgan Stanley launched a new campaign to fight against childhood hunger by partnering with Feeding America. The new campaign is called "Fill the Plate" and targets combating hunger during the weekends and after-school hours when children are most at risk of hunger
The partnership between Morgan Stanley and Feeding America is intended to strengthen and expand Feeding America's BackPack Program. The BackPack Program is designed for children to easily and discreetly give children access to nonperishable, nutritious foods. The backpacks are filled with foods and then distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or holiday vacation from school. According to Feeding America, during the fiscal year of 2009 over 190,000 children were served and over 3.7 million backpacks were distributed because of the backpack program. With the help of Morgan Stanley's "Fill the Plate" campaign, the hope is that the number of packs distributed will increase another 25% with more than 900,000 children being served by the end of 2014.
Morgan Stanley launched "Fill the Plate" on its 75th anniversary renewing their ongoing commitment to children's health issues and community service. President and CEO of Morgan Stanley, James Gorman, said of the partnership,
"Good nutrition is essential for children's success in school and throughout life.We look forward to partnering with Feeding America, an organization that knows how to make a genuine impact in communities across the U.S."
Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America, said of the partnership with the leading global financial services firm, "We applaud and welcome Morgan Stanley to the frontline in our continued fight to end hunger within our lifetime."
This is not the first program Morgan Stanley has stood firmly behind. In the past 50 years, The Morgan Stanley Foundation has advocated, campaigned, initiated projects and/or given non-profits grant funding. Some of the projects and non-profits supported by Morgan Stanley include the Global Alliance for Children's Health, the Million Meals Summer Program, Grow Clinics, Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program (SAVI), Renewable Energy Projects, the Carbon Disclosurer Project and Education scholarships, internship and career development.