I was leaving the University of Pennsylvania Hospital at about 4:30 last Wednesday. The rain was coming down steadily and traffic as you can imagine was crazy. I was headed for 76 east, so I could get on the Walt Whitman Bridge and head back home to Jersey.
When I got to Grays Ferry, where I was born, I saw a young woman standing in the rain adjusting an old army blanket over her dog. She was trying to make a tent for him by tying a corner of the blanket around a pole. There was a bowl with water in front of the dog and a three-quarter-filled gallon of water sitting next to him. The young woman had a poncho on and some kind of boots.
She was painfully thin and before she turned around to face the traffic she patted the dog's head to make sure he was okay, then she held up a sign, "Broke and Hungry please help us," and started walking between cars that were stopped at a red light, looking for some help.
It was like a scene from Blade Runner.
How can this be? Every day when I turn on my computer, there is someone asking for donations to help people in another country who are hungry. I know there are people all around the world who need help and I never thought I would feel this way, but we have to take care of our own first and the rest of the world second.
We are not a country, no matter what the reason, that should have one of its citizens standing in the rain holding up a sign, "Broke and Hungry please help us." Let's start thinking about a roof over the head of every one of our citizens, health care for all, education for all, no one going to bed hungry. Once that's been accomplished, we can think about helping the rest of the world.