Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.
You don’t have to be a parent to get shocked by the opening paragraph of CNN’s Nov 2008 article “As children starve, world struggles for solution“, “Some mothers choose what their children will eat. Others choose which children will eat and which will die.”
Inconceivable. Can you imagine having to choose between which one of your pets you would feed and which you would let die from hunger!? Now imagine doing that with your own flesh and blood. I can’t. My brain short-circuits and a weird water-like substance comes out of my eye sockets.
The good news is that a little bit is all that is needed to change someone’s life. I strongly believe that those of us blessed to have a roof over our family and a full belly should help our brothers and sisters that weren’t as lucky. It’s not up to me to say who deserves help, but at the same time, I like to know my money is being put to good work. I highly suggest working with small nonprofits because they are more intimate, don’t have a complex organizational structure (hence more of my dollar can be delivered to the end “client”), and I know they are on the ground making a difference in someone’s life.
Organizations like Meds & Food for Kids, Living Heart Peru, and Child Foundation that are helping people right now and doing it out of love and compassion. What’s even more amazing is that you can call and speak to people that are actually doing the work.
When contributing to charitable organizations, I generally follow these guidelines (some of which were influenced by my religious beliefs and others by my personal “code of ethics”):
- Never give to a charity openly or brag about your contributions.
- If you can’t give money, then spread the word so others can help, and if you can’t do that, then remember those in need in your thoughts and prayers.
- Be kind. Even a smile is charity.
- If you can support a local charity, do so. We rush to donate to other countries in time of disasters, but step over a begging child in our own neighborhood. (I mentioned international charities because I don’t know what “local” is for you)
- Try to find organizations teaching people to be self-sufficient, such as those implementing better farming techniques or better water filtration methods in impoverished areas.
For my birthday (July 2011) I made a personal new year resolution to stop talking about changing the world and start doing it, and have started raising money for Water.org. Naturally I want my friends to be part of and supportive of my efforts so I’ve volunteered them to help out.
$25 will provide clean drinking water for someone for life. I know the feeling….I’m still shocked by that! I’m asking everyone to donate $25 via Paypal or credit card at my Water.org donation page, or contact me directly if you would like to donate cash as I will collect it and send in lump sums. Read my Water.org post.