Not much involving the Shutdown can be regarded as “heartwarming.” In fact, thus far it has shown us, through the Tea Party that holds our nation hostage, the absolute worst in humanity. We have seen national parks and monuments closed, Head Starts and domestic violence programs lose funding, scientific research grind to a halt, and regulatory agencies reduced to a skeleton crew–we have seen much that makes America great completely decimated in the name of keeping the uninsured…uninsured.
But John and Laura Arnold have changed that!
After learning that seven Head Start programs in six states—7,000 children ages 0-5–have already been affected by closures, John and Laura provided the $10 MILLION needed to reopen those Head Starts through the end of October! In a statement, the Arnolds said,
“We believe that it is especially unfair that young children from underprivileged communities and working families pay the price for the legislature’s collective failures.”
That’s a message that can certainly be applauded! Many low-income families do not have an option for alternative care for their children and thus are forced to miss work; this also increases the risk of children being left home alone. The Arnolds’ gift won’t support these Head Starts forever, though, and their generosity will not help Head Start programs that are at risk of closure if the Shutdown continues through October. In fact, if the shutdown persists into November, an additional 11,000 children will be affected by closures.
The Arnolds have a stern warning for our government, though:
“We sincerely hope that our government gets back to work in short order, as private dollars cannot in the long-term replace government commitments.”
Perhaps our Tea Party lawmakers should heed that admonition and, perhaps, realize what they are doing to our nation in their willingness to hold our nation’s children–its battered women, its scientific progress, and its very humanity, hostage just to make sure the uninsured stay that way.