I had the amazing opportunity to hang out with 54 grieving children this weekend. On many weekends during the year I volunteer for a bereavement camp. Like a majority of the campers this weekend, I lost my father as a teenager and find it healing to help others experiencing a similar loss. Losing a parent is not only traumatic, but it also means losing the security and stability of that parent’s income.
Since becoming an intern for Virginia Organizing I have been thinking a lot about the invisible victims of social security cuts, surviving children of deceased workers. Social Security is the most successful children’s program in America benefiting 4.4 million children a month. How will cuts to social security affect these children? Will they have to move to a less safe neighborhood; to quit sports or piano lessons; to eat less healthy food or less food in general; to see their surviving parent less; or to hold off on their college dreams? Is this America’s idea of a more fiscally responsible future?
Erika Schmale is an intern with the Virginia Organizing Social Security summer program. This summer in the Richmond area, you can find Erika giving daily presentations on the future of Social Security.