Whitesburg KY

Starving children?

Our Men’s Sunday School class had some extra money, and we were discussing what to do with it. One man said, “Why don’t we send it to those poor, starving children in eastern Kentucky?” That hit me like a ton of bricks. I said, “Where did you hear about the poor, starving children in eastern Kentucky?”

He said, “You see it all the time on TV. Most of the people living up there in the hills of Kentucky are out of work and on welfare.”

I quickly informed him that there are no starving children in eastern Kentucky. If a child is hungry, there are many programs that will feed him.

That’s the picture the national news has put out about Appalachia. I once saw on TV what was supposed to be an Appalachian child, ragged, dirty dress, barefoot, sitting on a table, eating with her hands. Food was all over her face and falling from her hands onto the table. The commentator was asking for money to feed these children.

A friend of mine recently drove with her husband from Somerset to Wise, Va. She said, “I expected to see rundown houses, dozens of dirty children running around, and yards full of trash. Instead, I saw good roads, beautiful homes, nicely dressed kids and adults. I didn’t see any trashy houses anywhere.”

To the rest of the world, that’s what we are — just trash and a drain on the economy. We’re lazy, tobacco-spitting lowlife.

Do you reckon that’s why none of the recent presidential candidates ever came to Letcher, Perry, Knott, Harlan or Leslie county? Instead, they always go to Pike County because 15 millionaires live there. All us poor people can’t contribute to their campaigns.

According to what I saw in and around Whitesburg during Mountain Heritage week this year, this is what I learned about those poor, starving people:

1. At least 80 percent of them have a computer and email each other.

2. About 90 percent of them have a cell phone, and 85 percent of the girls have one glued to their ear.

3. They’re all well dressed and clean, wearing all the name brand clothes.

4. They’re all healthy, and they get a lot of exercise. Some walked around the crafts tent at least 20 times every day.

5. Every house has a garden, where they grow part of their own food.

If the news reporters want to see poverty, they should look in their own city. There’s a section of every city that’s rundown, dirty, and not fit to live in. People there are hungry because they don’t know how to grow themselves some tomatoes, potatoes, and beans.

So, if you know of hungry children, sent them to Appalachia and we’ll feed them.

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