(click below to give)
Nothing tugs at my heart more than the topics of poverty and hunger. The month of April marks the 30th year my family and I have been here in the U.S. It’s a good reminder for me of how lucky I am to be living in a country that grants me the freedom and opportunities that I’ve been given.
Growing up in Vietnam (I was born during the Vietnam War) and having a physician for a father meant that I didn’t really have to endure as much hardship as others. I don’t recall ever being truly “hungry.” However, it would be naïve for me to say that we didn’t suffer politically, socially, and financially.
The person who taught me most about helping others is my mom. Whenever I think of someone with a kind and pure heart I think of her. As a child, I would watch her slip money into the pockets of people who really needed it. She did it because she didn’t want to draw attention to what she was doing and also because she didn’t want anyone to know that it was her.
Back then I thought she was crazy. I mean, who goes around giving away money?
Funny how life reminds you that this world is just not about you. Unlike Bill Gates who has billions and can afford to give away billions, I struggle financially. There I said it. And yet, I can’t explain this longing to “give” back to help others.
Please understand that I am not sharing these things because I want people to like me better. I already have a long list of people who care about me and am fairly emotionally secure that I don’t need that kind of extra validation. What I want, no what I feel compelled to do, is to share the importance of philanthropy (donating money to help make the lives of others better).
Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. One poor widow came forward and put in two small copper coins worth a penny. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.’ (Mark 12:41-44, Common English Bible)
Visitors to WorkplacePsychology.Net might notice me posting a World Food Programme (yes, it’s spelled with an “e”) graphic on the sidebar. Started in 1962, the WFP is part of the United Nations system. It envisions a world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life.
I have made a small contribution to the World Food Programme because that was something I felt I needed to do. I didn’t give very much because I don’t have much to give. But that’s not the point. If everyone who reads this post donated just $1.00 to the World Food Programme (WFP), it would fill 4 cups of food. It might not seem like much, but when you’re starving every cup of food matters.
I’ve decided that I’m going to forgo the membership dues I normally pay to some of the professional associations I’m a member of. Instead, I’m donating those fees to the World Food Programme. Please join me in helping to feed the hungry by donating a small financial gift.
(Seriously, just one dollar. Click on the photo of the smiling child above to donate.)