I don’t give to charity enough. I’m not proud of that. It’s not that I don’t think I should (I know better than that). I get stuck in the I don’t even know where to start-I can’t find a good charity that I like-Many charities spend the bulk of the funds raised on “administration”-I’ll definitely do it one of these days trap. Well “one of these days” is today.
I came across World Vision a few weeks ago (which is kind of amazing since it’s been providing for needy children and families around the world for more than 60 years!) And I’ve gotta admit… it’s a pretty amazing organization. It is worldwide. It focuses on poverty stricken families and communities (including in the U.S.). It provides “gifts that continue to give” to those in need; gifts like goats, sheep, chickens, water wells, education, mosquito nets, school supplies. The goats produce milk for years to come, the chickens lay eggs and provide food, the wells provide much-needed safe water to entire communities, school supplies help educate children, giving them a leg up on getting out of the poverty situation. It gives without regard to race or religion. That’s my kind of charity!
I’ll admit I was skeptical at first – true, World Vision claims to do so many amazing things for so many around the world. But does it really accomplish all it touts? Does it really spend the vast majority of the funds raised on the program itself, rather than on the administration? Does it honestly “teach a man to fish” rather than simply air drop some fish strips and bottled water? Well, my friends… Yes. Yes. And Yes! I looked at several charity ranking sites, and World Vision is consistently at the top! Only 6% of funds collected go toward administration! And it always scores 100% on transparency. You’ll definitely know where things stand with World Vision. I like transparency. I like charities that truly deliver what they claim. And I like organizations that help others help themselves. And that’s World Vision!
There are a number of ways to give, but by far the most successful and most popular is the World Vision Christmas Gift Catalog. The online version makes it so easy. Pick the gift you want to give (pick something that resonates with you!), purchase it online (in your name, or better yet, in someone else’s honor), and that gift will be delivered to a child, family, or community in the most need. There’s also a section that allows you to purchase an artisan craft that was handmade in a community or village. The money made through the purchases of these hand made crafts goes directly back to the person or community who made them. Pretty cool! World Vision sent me a few samples of these gifts, and I’ve gotta say, there are some very talented folks in these villages – silk scarves from a Vietnam village, a beautiful artistic bowl hand pounded and soldered from industrial waste was made by artisans in India, and farmers in Ethiopia hand select exoctic coffee beans to pass on the unique citrus and chocolate flavors of their extraordinary coffee. All good. All very authentic. It’s a great way to help those artisans work their way out of poverty.
So…. the time has come. It’s time to quit with the excuses and give to charity! Given my food bent, I like the “goat and 2 chickens” option! Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.