Tag Archives: Poverty


At just 8 years old, Emma Cramer is already changing the world. When she ventured to Fort Wayne and Pennsylvania with her mom to attend BeadforLife events last year, they knew they’d help change lives. What they didn’t know was how much their own lives would change.

Now hundreds of miles traveled and one year later, the dynamic duo has not only raised nearly $5,000 for the organization, they’ve developed a special connection to two Ugandan women who have worked their way out of poverty.

BeadforLife brought Joan Ahimbisibwe and Teddy Namuyiga, two beadmaking graduates and successful entrepreneurs, to the U.S. last spring. Kathy and Emma could not resist experiencing the good of their work firsthand, so they packed up their car and headed to Pittsburgh to meet the women.

“We are honored to support BeadforLife and wear our beads every day,” says Kathy. “Meeting Joan and Teddy and holding their hands made it so real for us. From the moment Teddy grabbed Emma’s hands and said “we will meet again,” Emma’s heart was all in,” she says.

Emma keeps in touch with Teddy and asked for a trip to Africa for her Christmas. While she didn’t receive that gift, she did receive the gift of an email from Teddy in Uganda, her mother said.“Emma just sent another letter for Teddy with a BeadforLife staff member who was traveling to Uganda.” She adds that a trip to Africa is on Emma’s Birthday wishlist.

During the holiday season, she sang a special song via BeadforLife’s Facebook Page to Teddy:

Here is Teddy watching Emma’s special song in Uganda.

About BeadforLife:

BeadforLife creates sustainable opportunities for impoverished women to lift themselves out of poverty by creating a circle of connection between women in Uganda and women around the world. Women in Uganda work hard to roll beautiful bead jewelry out of recycled paper and harvest shea nuts to make shea butter. Women worldwide sell these items and educate themselves and others about extreme poverty. The profits return to Uganda and fund health care, housing and business training initiatives.


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Just When You Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider: House GOP Cuts Food For Seniors And Babies But Funds Military Bands

July 7, 2011

House Republicans have rejected a proposal to cut $120 million from the military band budget in order to feed low income American women, children, and senior citizens.

House Republicans have stripped an appropriation from the Defense Authorization bill proposed by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) that would have taken $120 million away from the military band budget and used the money to feed low income Americans.

One of the programs that Republicans plan to cut is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) which provides food assistance to 500,000-600,000 Americans. Almost all of the participants (96%) are senior citizens. The WIC program is also on the chopping block. Republicans are trying to slash $833 million from a program that feeds low income pregnant women, new moms, babies, and children under 5. If House Republicans get their way, 325,000-475,000 mothers, infants, and children will be denied food in 2012.

Republicans have defended the military bands’ budget as necessary for patriotism, but only the most warped of ideologues could possibly justify waving the flag when hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Americans will be denied food assistance. I am sure that if were left up to the military band members in our military they would want to see these Americans not starve. Unfortunately, the decision is not theirs to make.

This is another example of House Republicans being so thoroughly married to their ideology that they are completely out of step with the constituents that they were elected to serve. Do you think that the seniors who participate in the CSFP expected the Republicans to take power in the House and cut off food aid to those who are most in need?

As the Center For American Progress pointed out, the real tragedy here is that all of these programs could be funded by one week’s worth of revenue lost by the tax cuts for millionaires. Even worse, one day’s worth of the revenue from the tax cuts for millionaires could fund the CSFP for a whole year.

House Republicans have made a lot of mistakes which may cost them their majority in 2012. No mistake has been bigger than their support for the Ryan budget and the privatization of Medicare, but denying food to low income seniors and babies, so that the military band can keep their budget intact comes in a close second.

The Democratic television ads against Republican Reps. who support this almost write themselves. Shots of a peppy military band juxtaposed with images of hungry babies and grandmas with narration about how the incumbent Republican voted to both kill Medicare and deny food to seniors and children.

Republicans are about to learn that patriotism is poor substitute for food.

These hungry Americans can’t eat patriotism, but they can vote Democrat in November 2012.


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