As I think about my own various journeys of self-discipline in life, few have been more challenging and arduous than learning to give. I didn’t grow up homeless, but at times, it was only because my mom had friends that would take us in.
I remember living in a dark basement storage room underneath an old tattered restaurant in Boulder, Colorado. And I remember my brother and I shivering from the cold — because we didn’t have money. I remember wanting so badly a pair of Air Jordan’s that one point after being told “no” over and over again I truly got angry because we couldn’t afford them.
- Even small donations have an impact
When considering poverty in the developing world, many people feel deep sorrow but conclude that there is nothing we can do. The scale of poverty is immense and we seem powerless to stop it. Such despair is understandable, but the facts tell a very different story. While poverty is indeed extreme and widespread, it is easy to forget just how many people there are in the developed world, and how powerful our pocket change can become when pooled together.
When giving to an effective charity, the size of your donation directly correlates with the number of people you are able to help.
A recent article in Devex pointed to high rates of cellphone use among refugees as they to try to maintain contact with family and friends even while separated. The use of GPS and messaging apps like WhatsApp has altered the landscape, alerting helping agencies to the need to ensure these connecting mechanisms remain available while millions of refugees remain in the most volatile of conditions.
For instance, last year, SoukTel partnered with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative to provide legal information to refugees in Turkey to help them advocate for their rights and entitlements.
The words “water” and “crisis” have become nearly synonymous in the past year. Tainted water in Flint, Mich., and Hoosick Falls. Water in the streets from aging infrastructure in Troy. The drought in California. Too little water in Mexico City, Delhi and much of Africa. Too much water in flooded areas of the South. Water issues touch each of us, raising questions involving the environment and climate change, civil rights and public health.
Being reminded to drink eight glasses of water a day is hard enough. Having to think deeper about the way water touches our lives can feel impossible.