We are all a little more giving at Christmas. When we consider who we are going to offer our charitable donation to, sometimes we wonder if the people we want to help are getting the money. Is your generosity helping those in need?
There are ways to do good this holiday season and know that you are impacting people.
Donate your time
Yes, we are all busy right now, however there are even more programs running full force at Christmastime than any other time of the year. There are many places where people would gladly accept your time. Make it a family ritual to volunteer, start at Christmas and who knows, maybe it will turn into something long term. When you volunteer, you get the benefit of seeing those that youa re actively helping. Find something that fits your personal preferences and schedule.
- Are you handy around the house? Volunteer organization that builds or repairs homes for those in need, perhaps Habitat for Humanity.
- Are you’re a good cook or a deft server? Prepare or serve meals at your local soup kitchen, Haven of Rest in Downtown Akron is a great choice.
- Love kids? Contact churches or homeless shelters (Haven of Rest) in your area and volunteer for their child care programs.
Finance a micro loan
People in need actually need money the most. However, if you live by “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” you may feel hesitant to just hand over cash without knowing your donation will help the recipient build a better future for themselves. By funding a microfinance loan for a small business owner in a developing country is a great way to ensure your donation not only helps someone immediately, but helps create a better future as well.
World Vision provides micro loans – ranging from $25 to $5,000 – to small businesses in Mexico, the Philippines, Kenya and Rwanda. You can fund a loan – entirely or partially through www.worldvisionmicro.org. Pick the entrepreneur you would like to help and designate exactly how much to loan that person. You’ll find details on business owners, why each needs a loan, and how they will use the loan. It doesn’t stop there, you’ll receive reports on how your entrepreneur spends the money, how his or her business is faring and how the entrepreneur is re-investing profits.
Your loan is recorded as a tax-deductible monetary donation. When borrowers repay their loans, their funds go back into World Vision’s local community bank and the money is loaned out again to help other entrepreneurs in the same community. The repayment rate for World Vision loans is nearly 99 percent. Microfinance loans foster small-scale entrepreneurship and foster long-term solutions to poverty by helping individuals and communities transition from poverty to independence.