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1 of 6 suffer of poverty in the Shoals community, with 84.2% of that being Males under the age of 5 years old. 20% of children in Shoals are below poverty level. According to the ACS (American Community Services) conducted by the U.S. census bureau, the ACS further breaks down statistics according to sex, education level, age and work status.

The statistics prove that Shoals is in an extreme condition of poverty. In order to proper allocate for the needs to fight this unfortunate situation for many in this community, your help is needed.

Living in conditions of poverty exposes children to prolonged stress, thereby increasing the production of stress hormones. With prolonged or toxic stress, cortisol levels remain high and can wreak havoc on a child's organs, body, and brain. Typically, cortisol production is necessary as the body regulates its response to stress, however, with toxic stress, this physiological arousal becomes maladaptive and harmful to the body.

Growing up poor increases the likelihood and the number of Adverse Child Exporiences (ACEs), which are events considered to be traumatic. Significant research has been conducted on ACEs that shows the lasting affects of these events, which can include witnessing domestic violence, the incarceration of a parent, and even divorce.

Growing up in poverty increases the physical and emotional stress in a child's life. Lack of economic resources within a family increases a child's vulnerability to exploitation, including child labor and trafficking. This stress can also prompt negative biological changes in the cardiovascular, immune, neuroendocrine and cortical systems, which can have long-term implications for learning, decision-making and overall heath and well-being.

Poor children also experience a disproportionate amount of neglect and social deprivation thanks to poverty,

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