Oct 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day 2008, and the topic this year is POVERTY.

Here are four ways that you can help eliminate poverty:
  1. Shop smart and give free or inexpensive items to food bank and other charities. Many people who play The Drugstore Game donate their surplus to worthy causes. Gina at Mommy Making Money routinely mentions dropping off free or cheap groceries at a local food bank. Erin at Coupon Cravings hosts a weekly $5 Charity Challenge, through which she encourages her readers to donate $5 worth of purchases to a charity each week. Why not join your fellow frugal shoppers and donate your extra items?
  2. Donate to a charity that provides microloans. Marc introduced me to the concept of microfinance a couple of years ago, and I've been a big fan of it ever since. The concept got worldwide attention with the selection of microbank founder Muhammad Yunus as 2006's Nobel Peace Prize winner. Microloans involve making small loans to very poor people who can't qualify for a traditional loan from a bank. For example, I currently have a loan through Kiva.org to a woman in Tanzania who borrowed a total of $175 to expand her business, which is selling fruit and vegetables. The loan allows her to buy more produce, which results in increased profit. If the cycle is continued, it can lead men and women out of poverty and into greater financial security.
  3. Teach someone a new skill. If you sew, you could teach someone how to make their own clothes, or maybe some cute craftsy item that would sell on Etsy. If you cook, you can teach someone basic cooking skills and maybe a set of basic recipes, like Jamie Oliver is apparently doing over in England.
  4. Teach a young person basic financial skills. Personal finance bloggers like to complain about the lack of formal education on finance. But that's not the only way to make sure future generations know how to manage their money. Kids can learn from any adult in their lives.


Anonymous said...

Sponsoring a child through Compassion International (www.compassion.com) is my favorite way to fight poverty. It's great because you develop a personal relationship with one child who you support each month. I've gotten five letters in the last year from the little girl I sponsor.

Chelsey @ Brown Eyed Basics

Chief Family Officer said...

@Chelsey - Thanks for the recommendation. I've only heard of Compassion through Rocks in my Dryer, but I'd just barely started reading Shannon's blog when she went to Africa and don't know much about it. I appreciate the additional info and will definitely look into it!