WHAT IS TRUE CHARITY?
True charity stems from compassion and cannot be legislated. Government is an institution and cannot be charitable in truth. True charity is voluntarily sourced.
If charity doesn’t empower the poor, it misses the mark. Empowerment is impossible without some aspect of challenge to help a person become self-sufficient.
WHY CHOOSE TRUE CHARITY?
Poverty is complex.
Poverty is more than a lack of money. It may be a traumatic past, a lack of skills, or generational learned helplessness. Every situation is different. Some people need to reconnect with family, some need help with money management, and some just need childcare so they can pursue their education. One-size-fits-all solutions are ineffective. Personalized solutions are essential. Compassionate individuals in local communities are best suited to deliver them.
We are called to love our neighbors.
We have a moral duty to help people in need. We respond to this deeply personal call by assisting those we know, donating to charities, and volunteering time. These acts of compassion benefit both the giver and receiver. Furthermore, this personal approach results in relationships which uplift everyone involved. Real relationships create accountability and inspire the action required to help people get ahead.
Government action is counterproductive.
Government is ill-equipped to dispense the relational help that poverty requires. The government cannot be a friend. Since the beginning of the War on Poverty in 1964, government spending on anti-poverty programs has increased to around one trillion dollars a year and the poverty rate hasn’t budged. Furthermore, key contributors to success like stable marriages and employment have declined among the poor. Local communities are best equipped to help their neighbors, but unfortunately, the government tends to crowd out this personal assistance and fails to replace it with anything that works.
Growth requires challenge.
Immediate relief is an effective solution for a temporary crisis. However, giveaways are a mere band-aid for chronic poverty. Incorporating goal setting, work requirements, and other forms of challenge into our charity acknowledges the worth and potential of the individual. In so doing, we transform our view of the poor from passive recipients to neighbors with something to offer. Challenge promotes the responsibility and ownership required to flourish.
We want results, not just activity.
Our goal is to see individuals move from poverty to prosperity. We want to see them productive and contributing to the people around them. We will never know if our programs accomplish this unless we measure results. Instead of measuring output, or how much we give away, we should measure outcomes like stable housing, employment, education, and family reunifications.
If your church or nonprofit wants to make a bigger impact in the fight against poverty, you should join the True Charity Network!
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