Knock Knock!


This post is the third in a series called “500 Words To Save The World.” Each day I will use just 500 words to address a problem that has been bugging you or me. If you want to get in on the conversation, tell me the problem you’d like discussed in the comments section of this post, or email me directly at You may start counting words… now!


I have been fortunate.

Growing up, my father worked and my mother stayed at home. She cooked our meals, volunteered at school, and helped with homework. My dad brought home a paycheck and helped run the Boy Scout troop.

My siblings and I participated in sports; and my parents were always there, cheering us on.

As I said, I have been fortunate.

Now that I am a parent, I can tell you it is the best and hardest job I’ve ever had. My wife and I have four children, and we both work.

Our family is logistically complicated, but we are able to figure it out and make it work, most of the time.


Sometimes we find ourselves at the margins, and we turn to family and friends for help. We are lucky to have such resources, and in turn we help others when they need it.

Here’s the thing… there are days when no amount of appointment juggling or pizza delivery will connect all the dots, but for us these days are rare.

Unfortunately, millions of American parents face this situation…
every single day.


More than a third of school-aged children live in single-parent households, and those households are more than twice as likely to have low-incomes, compared to all families with children.

These families struggle, and the children’s school performance suffers.

Education is the single greatest weapon in the war on poverty, but without success in the classroom, at risk children simply grow up to lead the next generation of struggling families.


According to a 2007 Harvard Family Research Project Study:

  • Increases in family involvement in the school predict increases in literacy achievement
  • Family involvement in school matters most for children at greatest risk.


Every teacher in America can tell you
we didn’t need a study to tell us that.


The answers don’t lie in singling out ethnic groups or geographic locations. Although there are concentrations, the problems I describe… are EVERYWHERE.

Telling a parent, “their situation needs to change,” or “their kids are failing,” is about as effective (and compassionate) as telling the drowning Titanic passengers that next time “we won’t hit the iceberg.”

Schools programs can’t do it all, resource-poor parents need help with parenting. I am not qualified to speak on the economics, but I have an idea for the logistical piece, and in many ways, time is money. I have the benefit of all the resources I need, why not then give struggling families the same thing?

I am not talking about money, or subsidies, or a bloated government bureaucracy.

We need a simple exchange of resources where people help other people. A place where people get what they need and give what they can.

This is an idea, not a plan, but I welcome all thoughts on implementation.


I believe most people, when given the opportunity; will help their fellow man. Let’s provide the doorway so that opportunity has a place to knock.

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

We are… how can we help?


Copyright © 2015 – Stephen S. Nazarian – All rights reserved.(Knock Knock)

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