Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fight Poverty! Blog Action Day 08

In honor of Blog Action day I am straying off course a little, but not really. I am participating in Blog Action Day and this years focus is poverty. This has been a big topic at my church, Community Christian Church, for the last couple years.

Many people jump to thinking international when thinking of poverty. But I agree with the approach that my church has taken. They base it on the bible verse Acts 1:8 that says "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." So in that effort they have picked three different geographies for their approach on poverty. First a neighboring town that has a concentration of low-income households, second the Philippines and the third an international group.

And in each case we have partnered with existing organizations that have the expertise to make our efforts worthwhile. We have also tried to make it possible for everyone to participate, pitch in and donate. In fact our church decided for one weekend that the whole offering for all of our campuses would be donated to these causes instead of going to the church. This was while the church was facing it's own financial concerns but felt compelled to give. In one weekend $250,000 was collected! That was an enormous amount compared to the church's weekly budget.

But it isn't always about the money, a big part of it is helping the people in need feel loved, normal and important. The church goes out of their way to be sure we are addressing the numerous root causes of poverty, not just provide temporary funding to ease symptoms.


I am not telling you this to brag about my church or try to convince you to join (but it would be great if you did). Rather I think every church, individual and organization can look right in their backyard to fight ways to fight poverty. But starting a new nonprofit may not be the best idea to solve the problem, see who is already doing work in the area you are interested in and help support them. By creating more nonprofits there is a chance you are diminishing the already hard to get funds.

Visit the Blog Action Day site to get some great and amazing ideas of how to fight poverty.

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