Do you give to charity? The needy? The poor? The less fortunate? The dirty grubby busker? The frail old soft veteran sitting at the gateway to where you just needed to pick up some milk? (Side note, do you ever think about how that man was once a young and strong and very physical fighter? I rarely do…) Back on point, though…
I’m one of those people who can’t seem to go past without giving something, even if it seems measly, something is always better than nothing (right?). But if we stop and think about it, it can be easy to wonder what difference we’re actually making.
I give in good faith and trust, but I also believe in purposed giving. Purposed giving is important for a well-intentioned life, engaged giving helps us not to become too insular, and it is so so important for the conversations it creates with our children, and the broad dialogue about our place in the world.
Over the years, we’ve given to many different organisations, but one that has always been consistent is the child we sponsor. Through thick and thin we’ve stayed committed to him, believing that we were making a very real and important difference to his and his family’s life. Turns out, this is one way of making a difference that actually makes a difference.
Last week, an old school friend of mine shared this article – thanks Felicity(!) – which I then shared too, but I feel this message needs to told again and again.
If you have a moment, it’s a great read, but the long and short of it is that child sponsorship works. The study found children who were sponsored had:
Higher levels of education;
Better paying jobs;
Higher levels of optimism;
Higher levels of self-efficacy and
Higher levels of overall happiness.
If you’ve ever doubted whether or not in your small corner of the world you could really have a significant impact on someone’s life, here’s your proof. Here’s your validation. Here’s your encouragement. Here’s your… nudging.
Ps. There are many organisations that offer programs, and it’s absolutely important to do your research when choosing one. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the organisation the study was based on.