Poverty is a reality for many individuals and families within our community. If you have not experienced poverty, it might be personally difficult to truly understand the impact that daily decisions have on finances. The Valley of the Sun United Way Making Choices Simulation bridges the gap from misconception and assumptions, to understanding that at any given moment one of us could be susceptible to experiencing poverty in our lifetime. Making Choices is an interactive experience. More importantly, this tool identifies ways to ACTIVATE: Solutions in support of individuals and families experiencing poverty in our community.
This is not a game. The simulation is based on real scenarios and lived experience from individuals in Maricopa County.
Promote Poverty Awareness
The simulation breaks down stereotypes by allowing participants to role-play and to better understand monthly decisions and how they might be impacted by both basic needs and also unplanned expenses.
After the simulation, participants will unpack their learning and brainstorm how they might support ongoing community change and ACTIVATE: Hope.
Inspire Local Change
Together, participants can be a voice to end poverty within their own family, circle of friends and community-at-large, AND for those they might not even know.
Poverty is often portrayed as a standalone issue - but this simulation allows participants to walk in the shoes of someone who is facing complex and interconnected issues and to learn how one decision might affect or cascade into several other spending scenarios that leave little left in monthly dollars to spend.
During the simulation, you will take on the identity of someone faced with tough choices. You will work together with your team to live a month experiencing poverty.
Like real life, you need transportation to work or school. You need food on the table. You might struggle with a chronic illness or be in need of child-care, etc. Throughout the month you will face the daily stresses and challenges a person in poverty faces when working with limited income or resources.
“During the firm’s campaign kick-off, we challenged our team to take the Making Choices simulation. The simulation provided insight into what many families in our community face daily that we ourselves do not. Our team felt stressed, concerned and frustrated as they worked through the simulation. Recognizing their own fortunate situations, many responded by generously supporting the campaign.” - Laura LoBianco | Partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
The Making Choices Simulation is a tool that helps participants rethink the challenges that millions of low income individuals must face each and every day. The simulation is a profoundly moving experience. It moves people to think about the harsh realities of poverty and to talk about how communities can address the problem. Most importantly, it moves people to activate change.