Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Depressing, and in my own area

The Chicago Tribune had this article this morning, For poorest of poor, each day's a struggle, and it was really sad for me because it talked about locations right in my neck of the woods -- northern DuPage County.

The woman, from Itasca, picks garbage to support her family. I can't wonder how many times on garbage day she's driven down my own street.
Judy Sirko's regular trash runs--she calls them "treasure hunts"--help sustain a precarious existence shared by thousands of people in Illinois. Census figures show that the state, despite having the fifth-largest economy in the nation, has the highest poverty rate in the Midwest. Illinois also leads the region in a grim subset of that category: the group of nearly 724,000 residents, including Sirko and her children, trapped in what experts call "deep poverty."

I hate throwing usable things away, preferring to donate them to charity or sell them in a garage sale. Whenever I see somebody put something usable at the curb, I hope that someone takes it and gives it a new life. (But the flip side of that, when I see someone picking the garbage, is worrying about more nefarious goals: such as identity theft.) It's good to know that some of those treasures are being rescued and put to good use.

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