"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much" - James
When the church in a region gathers to effectively and fervently pray for the community- it is to the community's advantage. When the church in a region gathers to pray specifically for a huge need in its community - it is to the community's advantage.
Consider these statistics about children in our region:
Hunger impacts children’s ability to concentrate, learn in school
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Nearly one-third, or 32 percent, of households with children in Alabama reported not having enough money to buy food that they or their family needed at some point during the prior twelve months, according to a new report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Food Hardship in America 2010: Households with and without Children.
32 percent of Alabama households with children said they were unable to afford enough food, the second highest among the 50 states.
The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) households with children had a food hardship rate of 23.4 percent in 2010, the 10th highest rate among the nation’s 100 largest MSAs.
“When children don’t have enough to eat, they have a harder time concentrating and performing well in school,” said Kristina Scott, Executive Director of the Alabama Poverty Project. “Research indicates that for young children, even mild undernutrition negatively impacts their behavior, their school performance, and their overall cognitive development. Hunger is not always visible, and thus people may be skeptical that it exists in their communities” said Scott.
Poverty -Alabama ranked 9th in poverty statistics
Alabama Poverty Project press release - Thursday, September 16th, 2010
16.6 percent of Alabamians lived in poverty last year, according to newly released 2009 US Census Data. This puts us ninth in nationwide rankings of poverty rates. During that same time, 25.8 percent of children in Alabama lived in households below the poverty line. The poverty threshold measures household income to determine who lives in poverty. In 2009, the poverty line was $22,050/year for a family of 4, or $10, 830 for an individual.
Homelessness - CBS42.com May 16, 2012
A new report by an advocacy group says Alabama is worst in the nation for child homelessness. Experts aren't surprised, pointing to the high level of poverty and low level of education. Joan Wright with Childcare Resources in Birmingham says agencies are restructuring their services to meet the needs of more homeless families ... providing child care and transportation to school for their kids. She says the problem is even worse in rural counties throughout the state, where there are no shelters and fewer agencies to assist homeless families. The study released Tuesday by the National Center on Family Homelessness ranks the state No. 50 nationally for the well-being of homeless kids. Overall, the group says one in 45 children in the United States experience homelessness in a year. The group ranks the states by the extent of child homelessness; the well-being of children; the risk for child homelessness; and state policy and planning efforts. It says Vermont is best in the nation and Alabama is worst.
Abuse - These statistics are from the State of Alabama Department of Human Resources 2007. www.ecfsc.com/about-child-abuse.asp
Jefferson County, Alabama
In 2007 there were 4,194 reported cases of child abuse and neglect in Jefferson County.
Of the reported cases, 2,579 were referred for Child Protective Services for investigation.
Of the number of reported cases 4 children died due to abuse.
Of the number of reported cases 1 child died due to neglect.
Of the 2,579 cases investigated 425 children were either abused or neglected by their mother; 225 by their father; 29 by a grandparent, 104 by another relative; and 182 by an unrelated person.