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Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

Kids in Your Neighborhood

  • Jim Daly
    Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2011 Jun 08
  • Comments

Posted by Jim_Daly Jun 7, 2011

Last Friday’s USA Today ran a rather bleak cover story. Framed by old black-and-white photos of cute little children, the headline read: “In Many Neighborhoods, Kids Are Only a Memory.” vintageneighborhood.jpg

Of course, as birth rates continue to decline in America, neighborhood demographics are bound to adjust. But the shift is even more pronounced in some areas for no other reason that children tend to attract other children. Parents of youngsters are drawn to certain areas because of good schools, access to parks and the fact that adults like to live around friends in similar seasons of life.

As a result, when it comes to neighborhoods and children, the old Ray Charles line rings true: “Them that’s got, are them that gets.”mapfewerkids.jpg

But despite the greater concentration of children in certain areas and less in others, it’s not just a matter of distributing children more evenly. Parents are just having fewer kids these days, or none at all. In fact, more households in America now have dogs (43 million) than have kids (38 million).  (Click Map to Enlarge)

This development saddens me. There is tremendous value in children. “Children are a heritage from the Lord,” wrote the Psalmist, and “offspring a reward from him” (127:3).  There is nothing sweeter than the sound of a little person playing and laughing. When I look out our back window and see Trent and Troy jumping on our trampoline or get outside and throw the ball around in the yard with them, my heart swells with wonder and gratitude. To see a child is to stand in awe of our Creator.

We would be hard pressed to find a better way to invest our time than in the life of a little girl or boy. This is one of the many reasons so many families have begun the adoption process through our Wait No More campaign. Perhaps you haven’t heard of it? If so, I would invite you to click here to learn more. Investing in the life of a young person might seem risky, but its ultimate yield is off the charts!

I’d be interested to know if this county-by-county map is reflective of your own neighborhood and the trends you see overall. Please let us know.

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