One million lost jobs.
More conservative estimates say as many as 100,000 jobs may be lost.
Still. That's an enormous amount of loss.
The oil has stopped flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, and that should be a relief. But with fewer cleanup jobs to be had, many of the people hit hardest by the huge spill are struggling as badly as ever.The trickle down of this is that hardworking, faultless individuals will soon have to choose between dinner and prescription medicine. Soon they will have to choose between car insurance and rent. Between baby formula or the electricity bill.
Boat captains and deckhands who managed to put food on the table over the summer because they got hired by BP to skim the oil are being dropped from the payroll while huge swaths of the Gulf remain off-limits to those who haul in shrimp, oysters and other seafood.
Now, just when with the environmental and engineering crisis is easing, large charities providing food to coastal communities have run out of money, homeless shelters are filling up with men thrown out of work by the spill, and demand for drug and alcohol counseling is up.
In yet another source of anxiety for fishermen and others, the federal government took over the handling of oil-spill damage claims from BP on Monday, and many people along the Gulf are waiting to see how Obama administration appointee Kenneth Feinberg administers the $20 billion victims compensation fund set up by the company.
Already, there are indications he intends to be stricter than BP in some cases when it comes to handing out checks to individuals and businesses.
Each lost job will most likely mean a hardship for each family. Single mothers are going to need gas money. Unemployed dads will need new shoes for the little ones.
That's where Modest Needs comes in. We have a special assistance available to those who have lost their jobs, and with your help we can send $500,000--double the $250,000 grant Pepsi gives to winners--right into the hands of these families. With your votes, we can provide a financial bridge for those who may have no where else to turn.
We are so very, very close to taking this home. We just need a big, last minute push to bring this grant home, to the Gulf, to those who need it.
[Photo by IBRRC]