+
When Joe Biden said his COVID relief package would 'cut child poverty in half' he wasn't joking
via Prachatai / Flickr and Nenad Stojkovic / Flickr

Shortly after taking office, President Biden got to work selling Congress and the country on a massive coronavirus relief package. One of the centerpieces of what would become a $1.9 trillion dollar bill was raising the Child Tax Credit (CTC) from $2,000 to $3,000 per child (or $3,600 for a child under age 6) and making it refundable.

The program gives parents who make $400,000 and under filing jointly ($200,000 and under on a single return) direct payments of around $250 to $300 a month from July through December 2021.

The president made a bold statement while talking about the CTC that seemed a little far-fetched at the time. "If we get this done, it will cut child poverty in half," Biden said at a roundtable in February. The White House stood by the claim with Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeating it in three separate beings.


In America, one in seven children lives in poverty.

The bill was passed and signed into law by the president in March and we're now beginning to see the benefits of the CTC played out in real-time.

A study by the Poverty Center at Columbia University found that after parents began receiving direct deposits in their bank accounts it had an immediate effect on child poverty rates.

"Using our innovative approach to tracking monthly poverty rates, we project that ongoing COVID relief efforts continue to have a sizable effect on reducing child poverty keeping 6 million children from poverty in July 2021 alone (a reduction of more than 40 percent)," the Poverty Center wrote in a study.

Researchers believe that as the rollout continues, "the expanded Child Tax Credit has the potential to achieve even greater child poverty reduction." If all eligible children are enrolled in the program, the CC has the "potential to reduce monthly child poverty by up to 40 percent on its own."

When combined with other COVID-19 relief measures, the CTC could contribute to a 52% reduction in child poverty.

A survey from the Census Bureau found that most families are spending the money on clothing, food, housing, and utilities.

The key to maximizing the CTC's benefits making sure that all eligible children are enrolled in the program. An estimated 67 million children are thought to be eligible for the program although the Treasury Department estimated that it made payments for 61 million children.

The CTC's dramatic success has the president and Democrats in Congress pushing to expand the program until 2025. Earlier this month, House Democrats proposed an extension of the increase in the tax credit as well as making the funding permanent. The proposal was cheered by pro-family advocates such as MomsRising.

"The child tax credit expansion has made historic gains for our families and our economy in 2021, lifting 50% of all children out of poverty and boosting the economy," executive director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner said according to CNBC.

A group of 450 economists signed an open letter last week saying that the CTC should be extended. "It's very rare to find an issue where so many economists agree on everything," Jacob Goldin, an assistant professor at Stanford Law School, told CNBC. "But there's just very, very strong evidence that providing extra financial assistance to kids growing up in low-income households yields big benefits in their lives."

When a child is lifted out of poverty it has a lasting impact on their life. Columbia's Poverty Center says that it leads to a decrease in infant mortality, improves the health and life expectancy of poor children, and increases future productivity. The Poverty Center estimates that the CTC's societal benefits outweigh its costs by 8 to 1.

The fact that child poverty still persists in the wealthiest nation of the world is one of the biggest disgraces in American life. The CTC has shown that there is an easy, and effective way to combat this serious issue by simply giving people a break on their taxes. Let's hope that our leaders realize the impact the CTC is having on the lives of children and will make it a permanent part of the effort to eradicate child poverty in America once and for all.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


Keep ReadingShow less
via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


A dad from Portland, Oregon, has taken to LinkedIn to write an emotional plea to parents after he learned that his son had died during a conference call at work. J.R. Storment, of Portland, Oregon, encouraged parents to spend less time at work and more time with their kids after his son's death.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Grab your boost of serotonin here.

Polina Tankilevitch/Canva

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Holy moly—it's fall, y'all!

As pumpkin spice swoops in and we start unpacking our cozy sweaters and cute boots, we can practically taste the seasonal change in the air. Fall is filled with so many small joys—the fresh, crisp smell of apples, the beauty of the leaves as they shift from greens to yellows, oranges and reds, the way the world gets wrapped in a warm glow even as the air grows cooler.

Part of what makes the beauty of fall unique is that it's fleeting. Mother Nature puts on a vibrant show as she sheds what no longer serves her, inviting us to revel in her purposeful self-destruction. It's a gorgeous example of not only embracing change, but celebrating it.

Keep ReadingShow less