Congratulations to PP Bruce Montgomery!  Club Foundation Chair and IPP Ed Donoghue presented him with his 8+ Paul Harris pin at the meeting.  
Program Chair Cindy Kelly introduced Suzanne Donovan, Director of Step Up Savannah, who spoke to RCSE about poverty in the Savannah area - a problem that is hard to see but is prevalent in our society.  At the end of her speech, President Beth Hancock presented Ms. Donovan with her speaker gift - a book to be donated to Haven Elementary in her name.
 
To learn more about Step Up Savannah, follow the link on the article title.
 
Step Up Savannah's mission is to reduce poverty which can also be stated as increase economic mobility.  The poverty rate in Savannah is 26% - 37,000 people.  The median income in Savannah is $35,000 and nationally the median income is $55,000.  Location matters when it comes to poverty as is the case here in Savannah.  The majority of those living in poverty are in concentrated geographical areas and only have a 30% chance of ever moving out of their current economic status.  The biggest challenge to those living in poverty is that they are invisible to the eye.  There is a myth that those living in poverty are irresponsible and live off of social services.  However, 60% have jobs and 80% of people on food stamps are also employed.  Additionally, many people do not realize that they are eligible for benefits such as food stamps.  Some of the things Step Up Savannah tries to do is educate businesses in the area on how they can help their employees.  Businesses can offer financial education, information on how to apply for food stamps, and even better compensation monetarily and through benefits.  Upward mobility is higher in places where there are mixed income neighborhoods.  Step Up advocates for incentives to developers to offer affordable, safe housing at lower cost when developing new communities.  
 
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