As the wise Nelson Mandela once said, “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that generation.” It’s true. We can be a part of the generation that has a real, tangible impact on poverty, and perhaps, if we teach them well, our children can find a way to end the vicious cycle once and for all. In the meantime, there are some very real, very tangible ways to make a difference when it comes to poverty—both abroad and within your own community.
3 Real, Tangible Ways to Make an Impact on Poverty
Participate in Sustainable Philanthropy
It is not enough just to give a child clean water for a day, just as it is not enough to give a man a fish for a day. But, when you find a way to teach that child, or those children, how to fish for themselves metaphorically, you have the chance to make a real and lasting impact on poverty as a whole.
When we empower those who seem powerless, we don’t just change the lives of the people we work with directly; we also start a snowball effect that keeps rolling on long after we’re physically gone. That’s the meaning of sustainable philanthropy: when you don’t have to be present to have your presence felt ever after.
Start with Your Local Community
Many people make the mistake of thinking that only those in developing nations are in need of help. It’s simply not true. That harmful belief is what helps to foster the destructive cycle of poverty.
In order to have a real, tangible impact on poverty, it’s crucial to start with your home base. There are no doubt pockets of poverty in your town or city, no matter where you live. It’s a sad reality, but it’s one that can be greatly impacted and eventually eradicated if we direct attention to it and help out in any way we can. Reach out to your local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or women’s shelter. Look for volunteer opportunities as well as chances to donate necessary supplies.
Teach Your Children About Giving Back
In the end, this is the legacy we leave: the lessons we impart to our children about how to relate to their world. If you grace your children with philanthropic hearts and minds, that is what they’ll come to know. They’ll naturally adopt the mentality that helping others to help themselves is the best gift they can give to their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Teach your children about giving back to their communities and abroad in meaningful and lasting ways—that way, their generation will be the ones to end poverty as we know it finally.