With so many governments in the western world experiencing fiscal gridlock, major budgetary cuts to social services are being debated and implemented. In the United States, individual states faced over $500 billion in cumulative shortfalls from 2009 to 2012. This places a heavy burden on private industry and private donors to pick up the slack.

Despite the economic downturn, we must find a way to continue to give to causes that help those less fortunate. To remind us of our duty as humans, here are giving quotes from leaders throughout history:

  • “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”—Mother Teresa
  • “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”—Charles Dickens
  • “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”—Winston Churchill
  • “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran
  • “Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” – Ben Carson
  • “My mother told me that life isn’t always about pleasing yourself and that sometimes you have to do things for the sole benefit of another human being.”—Chelsea Handler
  • “By giving people the power to share, we’re making the world more transparent.”—Mark Zuckerberg
  • “No one has ever become poor by giving.”—Anne Frank
  • “The degree of loving is measured by the degree of giving.”—Edwin Louis Cole
  • “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance for those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
  • “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” – Maya Angelou
  • “Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away.” – Elbert Hubbard

Remember these giving quotes and try to work the lessons into your daily lives. Humanity has a long way to go and much more to achieve, but through the practice of giving we can surely facilitate our journey.

-Sunny Bhatt

Sources: Good Reads, Psychology Today, Oprah, Brookings
Photo: Quotes Wave

quotes from people that changed the world
What do a French priest, Spanish poet, U.S. President, Scottish philosopher and self-freed African American all have in common?

They all think it’s time to end world poverty. Famous and brilliant men and women have been saying for years that at last we have the ability to make lasting change in the war on hunger.  Below are ten quotes from people that changed the world.

1. “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass, escaped slave, abolitionist leader and supporter of woman’s rights.

2. “The war against hunger is truly mankind’s war of liberation.” – John F. Kennedy, former U.S. President

3. “The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.” – Adam Smith, Scottish philosopher

4. “Hunger is not an issue of charity. It is an issue of justice.” – Jacques Diouf, Food and Agricultural Organization Director-general

5. “This is the first generation in all of recorded history that can do something about the scourge of poverty. We have the means to do it. We can banish hunger from the face of the earth.” – Hubert H. Humphrey, former U.S. Vice President

6. “[P]eace does not mean just putting an end to violence or to war, but to all other factors that threaten peace, such as discrimination, such as inequality, poverty.”– Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Burma

7. “What I would say to the young men and women who are beset by hopelessness and doubt is that they should go and see what is being done on the ground to fight poverty, not like going to the zoo but to take action, to open their hearts and their consciences.” – Abbé Pierre, French priest and member of the Resistance in WWII

8. “Poverty is everyone’s problem. It cuts across any line you can name: age, race, social, geographic or religious. Whether you are black or white; rich, middle-class or poor, we are ALL touched by poverty.” – Kathleen Blanco, former Governor of Louisiana

9. “The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world.” – Federico Garcia Lorca, Spanish poet

10. “Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank, Holocaust victim

Change isn’t just needed, it’s also possible. It’s time to join the movement that’s fighting back against the greatest killer of people the world has ever seen – hunger. If any of these people inspire you, it’s because they accomplished something in the face of great opposition.

People are what change the world. Join us.

– Lydia Caswell

Sources: Do One Thing, Brainy Quote, Do Something Now
Photo: PBS

end of poverty
At the beginning of this year, there was a huge reaction to the 2014 Annual Gates Foundation letter as Bill Gates predicted the end of poverty by focusing on three myths about poverty. With that in mind, here is a look back at six end of poverty quotes from the foundation. Each quote demonstrates the hope and passion the Gates Foundation has in their mission to make the world a better place and demonstrates how tirelessly they will continue to work for the cause in the future.

1. In 2009, Gates states the observations he has made regarding the world’s economic crisis and his opinion about the wealth gap. In light of Oxfam’s recent report about the inequity between the rich and poor, it is clear that Gates believes the wealthy have a responsibility to help those who are less fortunate.

“I am impressed by individuals who continue to give generously even in these difficult times. I believe that the wealthy have a responsibility to invest in addressing inequity. This is especially true when the constraints on others are so great. Otherwise, we will come out of the economic downturn in a world that is even more unequal, with greater inequities in health and education. There is no reason to accept that, when we know how to make huge gains over the long term.”

2. In 2010, Gates highlights the importance of innovation as a way to help people out of poverty. He discusses the “bleak” outcomes that can be avoided when innovation becomes a priority and when people choose to believe in innovation as a solution.

“With vaccines, drugs and other improvements, health in poor countries will continue to get better, and people will choose to have smaller families. With better training, and access to markets, farmers in poor countries will be able to grow more food. The world will find clean ways to produce electricity at a lower cost, and more people will lift themselves out of poverty.”

3. In 2011, Gates made a compelling argument for the importance of foreign aid and the responsibility of society as a whole to take care of its people, as this will produce a more stable, healthier and better world. During the year, Gates focused on providing vaccines by working with pharmaceutical companies, like GAVI, who raised over $3 billion and saved millions of lives.

“I believe it is the rich world’s enlightened self-interest to continue investing in foreign aid. If societies can’t provide for people’s basic health, if they can’t feed and educate people, then their populations and problems will grow and the world will be a less stable place. Whether you believe it a moral imperative or in the rich world’s enlightened self-image, securing the conditions that will lead to a healthy, prosperous future for everyone is a goal I believe we all share.”

4. In 2012, Gates showed his dedication to helping the poor become self-sufficient, especially in terms of the foundation’s global development and global health programs.

“The world faces a clear choice. If we invest relatively modest amounts, many more poor farmers will be able to feed their families. If we don’t, one in seven people will continue living needlessly on the edge of starvation. My annual letter this year is an argument for making the choice to keep on helping extremely poor people build self-sufficiency.”

5. In 2013, Gates looked forward to the continued innovation and success in making the lives of the poor even better.

“The lives of the poorest have improved more rapidly in the last 15 years than ever before, yet I am optimistic that we will do even better in the next 15 years. After all, human knowledge is increasing.”

6. And finally in 2014, Gates calls all who want to join him in changing the world. He, furthermore, predicts that there will not be any more poor nations by 2035, the year that Gates will turn 80.

“We all have the chance to create a world where extreme poverty is the exception rather than the rule, and where all children have the same chance to thrive, no matter where they’re born. For those of us who believe in the value of every human life, there isn’t any more inspiring work under way in the world today.”

Julie Guacci

Sources: Gates Foundation: Annual Letter 2009, Forbes: Gates’ Life’s Goal, Gates Foundation: Conclusion, Forbes: Gates’ Second Coming, Gates Foundation: Annual Letter 2013, Gates Foundation: Annual Letter 2012, Gates Foundation: Annual Letter 2011, Gates Foundation: Annual Letter 2010
Photo: Gates Foundation