August is a CRAZY month for poverty simulations. Schools want the experience for their faculties before the students come back for class.  The Greenville Health System’s newest class of Medical Students are arriving and need to understand poverty as part of their EMT training.  The new members of AmeriCorps will soon begin and will work with people in poverty. And there’s a conference in Columbia that believes the poverty simulation is an important addition to their program.

I’m thrilled that the simulation is considered a valuable learning tool for people who want to understand more about what living in poverty may feel like. The people with the Missouri Association for Community Action developed a powerful resource that is used all over the country. I’ve now facilitated the simulation for more than 5000 people.

The simulation does not happen, however, without the help of dedicated volunteers. I am fortunate to have a large group of people who give of their time and talent as they are able. They truly are the strength of the experience.

Here’s what one volunteer wrote: “This experience [of volunteering with the poverty simulation] makes me even more grateful for the opportunity to raise the level of understanding between social groups and provide a bridge across what sometimes seems like an infinite divide…I know this is making a difference and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something so integral to our future and the future of those we love.”

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