This article is part of Blog Action Day, a day in which bloggers around the world unite to bring attention to a single issue. This year, the issue is poverty.
Poverty is everywhere. It is in the farthest reaches of every continent and it is in the grandest cities our world has to offer. Poverty can be found in small town America, it can be found in the wastelands of Africa, and it can be found in the jungles of South America. While no one has the cure for poverty, there are ways that everyone can help fight poverty both here and abroad.
Fighting poverty in the United States
Like it or not, poverty is in the US. It has many faces and many causes. While the effects of poverty can be devastating, there are many ways each of use can help.
Donate Goods. People living in poverty often need the essential goods you and I take for granted – warm clothing, food, medical supplies, toiletry items, and more. Examples: Donating goods to Salvation Army, Red Cross, your local church, etc.
Donate Money. Even organizations that rely on volunteer services and donated goods have overhead costs. Without the money, organizations cannot function. Many organizations also use money for direct support of people. Examples: Any of the charities mentioned above, EARN, and more.
Fighting poverty abroad
Poverty is a worldwide problem, and I think it is important for Americans to look outside our country and help others however possible. There are many international organizations worth supporting, as well numerous churches and organizations based here in the US that provide relief throughout the world.
Donate Money. Every international relief organization has one common need: money. Every organization can use more. For most of us in the United States, money is the easiest gift to give to international organizations because it is portable and accepted everywhere. Examples: International Red Cross, Kiva, Catholic Relief Services, UNICEF, Grameen Foundation, etc.
Donate Goods. Donating goods can be more difficult because of the high costs of transporting them, but there are still many items that can be donated and shipped. Examples: Food, clothing, medical supplies, school supplies, equipment for housing, clean water, etc.
Donate time and services. Donating time and services to fight global poverty is not something everyone can realistically accomplish. But there are many people who leave their homes to go abroad to help people in any way they can. Examples: Doctors Without Borders, Peace Corps, missionary services, etc.
You can fight poverty
Poverty is a worldwide condition that will probably never be eradicated. Though we may never be able to cure poverty, we may be able to help ease the strain it causes for many people. Each time you help someone you have a direct impact on their life. And that is a powerful and beautiful thing.
My plan. My goal for today is to open an account with Kiva and hopefully fund a few loans within the next few days. I have a couple hundred dollars earmarked for this and hopefully will be able to share my experiences with everyone in the coming days. I can’t change the world, but if I can help one person succeed, then I have a made a difference.
*Note: Before donating your valuable time, services, goods, or money, be sure to investigate the charities to ensure they are legitimate. You should always protect yourself against charity scams.
Here are what some others have to say about poverty:
- How the US Military Fights Poverty Worldwide.
- Poverty – It’s our responsibility to help.
- Blog Action Day: Bloggers Unite Against Poverty and How You Can Help.
- Blog Action Day 2008 – Poverty Around The World And At Home.
- Blog Action Day 2008 – Talking About Poverty.
- Reflections on Poverty – Blog Action Day 2008.
- Learning to Give: What *I* Can Do to Fight Poverty.
- Causes Of Poverty – Blog Action Day 2008.
- Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty.
- Blog Action Day: The Little We Do.
Do you have a favorite charity that fights poverty? Feel free to share it in the comments section below.