From deliverable groceries to online college degrees, we live in a world of relative convenience and ease. But for many people around the world, luxuries like deliverable groceries aren’t even a thought. Rather, any stack of groceries is considered a luxury. Those of us living in developed nations tend to think of poverty as an entity that exists elsewhere.
It’s tempting – exciting, even – to join a foreign volunteer program or charity organization, but often it’s just not feasible. But did you know that there are literally millions of people in our developed home nations living in poverty? Poverty is not only existent but rampant right where we are. In 2019, reports counted an estimated 34 million people in poverty in the US alone.
You can make a difference in helping the poor – at home or abroad – from right where you are by supporting nonprofits, volunteering virtually, making thoughtful purchasing decisions, and spreading awareness within your community.
Read on to dive deeper into four innovative ideas, giving you the resources you need to help – right here, right now, to whatever degree you’re able (or not!).
You may not be able to visit every area in need, but you can support those who are already there. Donating to nonprofits like Compassion International, whose mission is to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name, is one great way to go about helping the poor. Through sponsorships, this organization provides food, shelter, and care for children in need around the world.
If you’re not ready or able to donate money, you can also donate food items to your local food bank or other nonprofits that help the homeless in your community. Remember them? Yes, the homeless living in your city are just a few of “the poor” right nearby that need your help!
Ready to get rid of some clothes? You can donate those threads to local organizations that will help them to get to hands that need them.
Alternatively, get tweeting! Or liking, or commenting, or saving or sharing or reposting. Believe it or not, another great way to support nonprofits is to follow and interact with them on social media. Organizations like Convoy of Hope often use social media to share about their work around the world, educate their audience about poverty, and offer opportunities to help the poor.
Want to do more? If you have internet access, you can volunteer from the comfort of your own home as a virtual volunteer! Volunteer Match showcases hundreds of remote volunteer opportunities for nonprofits all around the world! You can become an international pen-pal to a child, help run an organization’s social media page, or even tutor children living in low-income areas around the US.
Life is crazy. We get that. Luckily, these opportunities don’t even require you to change out of your PJ’s in order to make an active difference. Imagine seeing the joy on a girl’s face as you help her with homework or the pride you’ll feel knowing that you used your talents to help a nonprofit – from your kitchen table!
Make Thoughtful Purchasing Decisions
Did you know you can make a difference just by choosing to buy the right kind of chocolate? Fairtrade chocolate companies pay workers a fair wage and use sustainable practices – as opposed to conventional companies, which often exploit workers and perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
Beyond Good is a fair trade chocolate company that focuses its efforts on employees in Madagascar and Uganda. It prides itself on paying workers fair wages – so much so that Beyond Good employees often reach a higher standard of living than many others around them.
You can even purchase subscription boxes that fight poverty! Anchored Purpose Box is a monthly subscription box that contains ethically sourced craft and artisan items from companies that serve developing nations. Anchored Purpose Box will even donate a portion of the proceeds of each box to help vulnerable populations. It’s a win-win: an easy way to consistently support impoverished communities while receiving monthly goodies!
Remember: don’t sweat the small stuff – because it can help! Supporting direct and fair trade companies makes a larger difference than you might think, so don’t feel guilty about buying this chocolate.
Helping the Poor by Spreading Awareness
Knowledge is power. Now that you know a little more about helping the poor, start spreading awareness – tell others what you’ve learned so that they can take the same small steps. Continue to spread awareness about the issues of poverty in your area and around the world. Who are the poor in your area? In your nation?
Share ways that others can help end poverty for good. What are your favorite direct trade companies? What about anti-poverty subscription services?
Your voice on social media is powerful. Use it to share what you learn, whether that’s a statistic or an easy way to fight poverty from your sofa.
And that’s not all. Take a few minutes (don’t make it a big deal!) to write to your politicians and share the issues that you think are important – and don’t be shy!
Margaret Mead once said, “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has,” so don’t let yourself believe that you can’t make a difference! Helping the poor doesn’t have to be complicated. When we work together, our small group can catalyze lasting change both abroad and right in our local communities.
Get a jumpstart now – visit Anchored Purpose Box to learn more and get involved.