Updated: Jan 11, 2020
Christmas is quickly approaching, and for those in the Christian community, excitement is building for the holiday. Without going into the Christmas story as written in the Bible, let’s take it back to focus on the beginning: Joseph traveling to Bethlehem to be counted in the Census.
The Census, which can be verified by a quick Google search, was also repeated in what would have been the year of Jesus’ 10th birthday. Let that sink in: the Census dates back to the Bible and the story of Jesus’ birth. And in 2020, it is our turn to be counted.
WV Healthy Kids and Families is proud to be part of a statewide effort to ensure that every West Virginian will be counted in 2020. We have been working with Census Bureau staff and local groups to make this Census our state’s most successful one. $385 billion in federal funding is distributed with the use of Census data. It’s estimated that the state of WV will lose over $2,000 per person, per year, for the next ten years for every West Virginian not counted. That’s an estimated loss of over $20,000 PER PERSON. Federal funding dollars touch every aspect of our lives, from road repairs to Title I funds for low-income school populations, to SNAP, WIC, and all other government assistance programs. But there’s more.
Businesses use Census data to decide whether or not it’s feasible to open grocery stores, industries, and build housing units using this data. And West Virginia may very well lose a Congressional seat should we not count our population correctly. We need your help in spreading the message that everybody counts in West Virginia.
As you head to church this holiday season, think of who you should talk to there to make sure your congregation is helping with the Census efforts. While you’re driving 45 minutes to the nearest store to finish your shopping, think of whom you need to have a conversation with about why the Census is so important for so many reasons.
To schedule a presentation on the Census, or to find out how you can ensure that everyone in your county is counted, contact Carey Jo Grace at firstname.lastname@example.org.