Emergency Visit

I spent last Saturday night in the ER with my husband after a bad fall left us both worried that he’d broken his ankle. Everything turned out fine in the end, but sitting in that very busy ER for several hours was interesting to say the least.
61414_10153031330205181_694806489_nThere were several others like us, holding up limbs that looked broken, or at least seriously bruised; one person even had some broken ribs. There were a few brought in on stretchers after car wrecks and other serious accidents. But there were also a lot of people there for things that you’d generally go see your doctor for. Still others were there because of preventable conditions or because they weren’t taking care of their existing medical problems.

In fact, many of the medical problems I saw were not true emergencies, but preventable conditions or minor ailments that perhaps seemed more serious in the dark of night. I have had to go to the emergency room for a relatively small issue in the past simply because it was the only place open, but this visit reminded me why I go to my doctor several times a year for check-ups and visits. I definitely want to avoid the Emergency Room as much as possible.

But not every family is able to keep up with their family’s medical maintenance. Working-poor families are often the ones who suffer the most, because they just can’t keep up with all of the needs of their families.

It’s these same families whose children often struggle in school. They can’t afford a tutor, and mom and dad work so many hours that there’s no time to help with homework. And even when they are available, these hard working parents are sometimes unable to help their kids because of language barriers or their own educational difficulties.

Without adequate early education, children are far more likely to drop out of school and get into trouble. They may join gangs, use drugs, need welfare, become homeless or even end up in prison. Many of these young adult issues didn’t need to become critical; they’re chronic and preventable through education.

That is why The Leaven began. By offering year-round tutoring and mentoring, The Leaven treats the root cause of the problems so many young people in California’s neediest communities face. By helping children succeed in elementary school, The Leaven is giving them the tools they need to succeed, even if life hands them a few curveballs down the road. And when children succeed, the community thrives, because helping kids and communities rise prevents those “emergency visits.”

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