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3 Ways Everyone Can Begin to Help the Poor

Help the Poor
More than half the world’s population lives on less than $2.50 per day, and more than 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty. Many people wish they could do something to help but often feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. Below are three easy steps you can take to help the poor and be a part of fighting the various crises created by global poverty.

3 Ways Everyone Can Begin to Help the Poor

  1. Get informed. It is very difficult to help anyone without facts; doing adequate research is a great way to get started with helping the poor. According to a study done in 2016, most Americans believe that the United States gives much more in foreign aid than it does in reality. While people often assume the number is around 26 percent, the actual figure is 0.7 percent. The U.S. spends $30 billion annually on programs that assist the world’s needy. In comparison, $663 billion goes toward military spending. UNICEF, the World Bank and USAID are all great organizations with which to use when researching global poverty and aid.
  2. Contact your representatives. Once you get a feel for the issues and find specific areas of poverty about which you are most passionate, call, write and set up meetings with your representatives to lobby for acts of legislation that will increase foreign aid and improve education and health care around the world. A common misconception is that these calls don’t matter. That just isn’t the case. Representatives’ staff members tally each phone call based on what issue is being called about, and those numbers can make a big difference when it comes to voting time.
  3. Find what works for you. Whether it’s spending time raising money that can be directly sent to build wells in Africa or lobbying for bills in Congress that can make a change, it doesn’t matter. Both strategies are necessary and effective in making a difference. Try a few different methods of volunteering your time to see what works best for you. Every bit of help is important and necessary to make change.

The World Bank has set a Millennium Goal to end global poverty by 2030 and, with these three steps, every person can assist in meeting the goal of helping the poor. They are simple ways to help the poor and may seem small, but will have an incredible long-term impact.

Emily Trosclair

Photo: Flickr