Sometimes it’s hard to get excited about giving money away because let’s be honest we can all think of things that scream at us from the top of our want list anytime we have a little extra or unexpected cash that could be spent on it. That would make us happy right? A little bigger TV, a new outfit, an extra vacation … sure good stuff. But maybe we sometimes choose not give away that extra and unexpected money because we don’t know where it would do some real good. We don’t have a cause that we are passionate enough about that we get excited at the prospect of having something at our disposal to fund it.
If this latter problem is one you have felt read on … I hope to offer you some options specifically for our upcoming tax refunds. Some or maybe all of this money may not be accounted for in our budgets. It might be freed up for generosity in a way that our monthly incomes aren’t. And this could be a great opportunity to effect real change in the world, to put our treasure where our heart is and invest in something that will last far longer than that TV or that outfit.
And this is where the how comes in. How can we be generous and make a lasting impact? We hope to offer you some options for this in the blog this month by sharing with you organizations we believe are worth the investment. I am presenting a local, national and international option. These organizations are not perfect nor are they the only options. We are all passionate about different causes, different places and have different ideas about the best ways to address what we see as the most difficult challenges facing the world today. These organizations may not address your most pressing concerns and passions. If not I encourage you – google is your friend, find ones that do and then tell us about it!
Local – Project Just Because
This is local out by me, in the metrowest area. Its food pantry serves only the town of Hopkinton but all of the other programs serve the entire state. It is an organization started by an area Mom out of her basement who just wanted to do some good so she began to collect and hand out used clothes. When she got too big for her own basement she moved into a new space which now serves tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents with dozens of different programs. PJB supplies adults and children in need with a variety of support. They clothing, toiletries, gift baskets, career items, school supplies, blankets, toys, furniture, baby items, housewares, etc. They will help anyone who asks. Their clients include victims of domestic violence forced to leave their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs, people transitioning out of shelters who need basic housekeeping supplies and at Christmas they give out gifts to almost just over fifteen thousand kids and teens.
National – Salvation Army
They are all over and they do so many different things for people with so many different needs. I have one in my town. They do a little bit of everything as do most branches. You see them at Christmas with the kettles. Maybe you drop your clothes off in their bins. For the most part they sell these clothes and other donated items in their thrift stores and the money raised funds their rehabilitation programs. A few of the programs offered by most branches include a ministry to the homeless (in some locations this includes a shelter), soup kitchens and after school programs. The Salvation Army is a Christian organization whose articulated mission is to preach the gospel and meet human needs without discrimination.
International – Living Water International
According to research bringing clean water to places where it is lacking is one of the most effective ways to alleviate poverty on a long term basis. 783 million people lack access to an improved source of drinking water.
There are several organizations who work to this end, but I chose Living Water because I was introduced to it while doing the Advent Conspiracy Bible study. Which I will also take a sidebar moment to highly recommend. Living Water seeks to demonstrate God’s love by helping communities create sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene. They do all of this as a means of being a Christian witness and in partnership with local churches. Their slogan is Water, for life, in Jesus’ name and that to me sums up the gospel and is something I want to be a part of.
So there you have it – three places where we could invest that money we’ve been lending to the government all year. Imagine what a difference a few hundred, a thousand or several thousand dollars could make to the organizations above who are working every day to bring the gospel of hope to people near and far in tangible and long lasting ways.