Giving is a force of nature at year’s end. The urge is strong to dig into the pocket or pocketbook for a handout or even step into McDonald’s to pay for a hamburger. Not saying this is a bad thing, but it is giving a fish instead of a fishing pole. It’s a temporary fix and, in some cases, may even be empowering poverty when that dollar(s) for [name your heart-rending need] actually goes for drugs or alcohol or keeps someone surviving on the street instead of seeking help.
What’s a person to do?
First, research your local agencies. Your community needs you, but make sure the agency that “gives a holiday meal” also does more significant intervention, or you will be perpetuating the fish/fishing pole conundrum. You can also participate in supporting an incredible organization like Heifer. It started with a cow. A man recognized that people needed a “cow, not a cup.” The organization not only gives livestock to those in need, but teaches them skills and “empowers them to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity… [By] linking them with markets in their area, they help bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.”
I’m in! Between now and December 24th (midnight CST) I will give $2 to Heifer for every comment posted here. You can leverage your words by visiting and commenting at Nathan Bradford and checking out the links to other participating blogs there.
Post Script: Thank you everyone who posted a comment. I sent Heifer a check for $50–that’s a calf to a needy family!