Giving Tuesday, launched by New York’s United Nations Foundations in 2011, expands each year. Do you sense a noble desire to give back? I hope this blog can help you to redefine your philosophy of philanthropy. This is your opportunity to give back in your own community by supporting our vision to rid the northwest suburbs of homelessness and hunger.
Let me point out the duality of poverty and charitable giving. Do you hold the same view of helping poverty as your parents did? Attitudes about poverty have remained largely consistent over time despite dramatic economic and social change. A recent survey of public opinion regarding people’s attitudes of the poor reveals sharp differences. One group seems void of empathy toward the poor, and believes the homeless should just try harder. The opposite view states jobs are hard to find, and social service programs help people get back on their feet. What view do you hold?
I’ve worked in social services in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago for over thirty years, and seen many changes. In 1990 welfare got a major overhaul. The number of poor Americans dropped sharply in that decade as programs transformed their vision from recurring giving to educating the poor. Clients were able to attend job training, and independent living skills classes in an effect to stand on their own. Poverty rose again in 2007 because of the recession. I witnessed more need than money budgeted to fill the need.
The face of poverty today does include those families who have been poor for several generations and unable to break free. Additionally, we assist middle-class families unable to pay the rising cost of living, discharged veterans with no employment and young adults who can’t secure their first job even after graduating from college. At Northwest Compass we hold the belief that poverty is a temporary condition. Who of us hasn’t felt hard times or known someone who has? Most of our clients want to be self-reliant. Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Our goal is to educate our clients, so they can feed themselves for a lifetime, and we need your support.
Donating money or time increases one’s capacity for expressing love, and generates gratitude. This action requires a selflessness, which can be challenging. Some people respond from their heads by judging what the person or agency may do with the gift. Can you open your heart, and give? A study at Harvard business school reveals that giving to others directly correlates to an increased sense of individual happiness.
Express your gratitude while increasing your personal happiness by clicking the Donate tab at www.northwestcompass.org. Any amount makes a difference and is tax deductible. Our agency is Guidestar Exchange Gold, and a BBB Accredited Charity with a commitment to transparency.