Hope for Today, Tomorrow and Eternity
Donate to the Poor
“He saves the needy…
So the poor have hope…”
Donating to the world’s poorest families can help them eventually leave behind hunger, fear, and isolation. The longterm goal is for them to put food on the table, pay for education, and follow a path out of a generational cycle of poverty.
Millions feel frustrated, alone, forgotten by God and stuck in a hopeless situation. At Bright Hope, we believe we are all made in the image of God, dearly loved and with inherent worth.
We are so encouraged if you want to donate to the poor or somehow make a meaningful impact on those living in abject poverty. This resource page guides you through numerous and impactful ways to transform the lives of the extreme poor for today, tomorrow, and eternity.
Donate to the Poor by Specific Needs
10 Creative Ways to Help the Poor
A humbling reality is that you and I are some of the wealthiest people in the world. How can we manage and steward His money in a way that glorifies Him and truly helps the poor?
At Bright Hope, we have expertise in equipping impoverished individuals, families, and communities with sustainable solutions to devastating problems. But other nonprofits also have unique strategies to help the poor. To tackle the enormous blight of poverty, we must all work together. The most important thing to remember when donating your hard-earned money is to do your research about charitable giving from a tax and financial planning standpoint! Make sure to check the organization’s financial accountability. You can read their financial statements and tax documents or research them in Charity Navigator.
Sometimes, however, it’s hard to know where to start. So here are 10 creative ideas to inspire you:
1 – Sell Items You No Longer Want or Need
Declutter your house and donate your family's clothes, jewelry, kids’ toys, or even furniture. Help those in need by selling items online or at a local consignment shop or holding a good old-fashioned garage sale.
2 – Give Away Technology Items
Why not gather up your old computers, phones, and other technology that others may find useful or even needed?
3 – Keep a Spare Change Jar
Those who pay often in cash can keep an extra change charity jar in your car or house. This works great if you have kids because they can watch the change jar fill up and can contribute! If you’re not someone who often uses cash, you can set up a bank account where you set aside a designated amount from each paycheck to give to causes you are passionate about.
4 – Donate Rewards
Let's be wise stewards and utilize cash back rewards that many credit cards offer. Consider donating a portion or all the cash back to those in great need. Another reward option that won’t cost you anything is selecting Bright Hope as your designated nonprofit when using Amazon Smile. If you do, 0.5% of every dollar you spend is donated to Bright Hope.
5 – Ask for a Gift that Keeps On Giving
If your family or friends ask you what you would like for a birthday or holiday gift, consider asking them to donate to a nonprofit in your name instead.
I had a friend who donated to her favorite charity in honor of each guest who attended her special day in lieu of wedding favors.
6 – Harness Your Talent
Bright Hope offers Asset-Based workshops in the communities where we partner. Participants discover ways to use talents and skills they already have to impact their church and community to break the chains of poverty. We can do the same.
- If you are crafty or a gifted artist, sell your creations.
- If you’re a talented chef, seamstress, or musician, give lessons.
- If you have a specific skill like carpentry, babysitting, tutoring, or gardening, provide a service and donate the proceeds.
7 – Give with Friends
Join with family members, friends, co-workers, or your small group and pool your resources. Find a shared passion or need you can all contribute to together. You can accomplish so much more when you work together. For example, a group of people can dig a well or even feed an entire village.
8 – Share About Bright Hope on Social Media
Our goal at Bright Hope is to break the cycle of poverty by equipping individuals to create sustainable livelihoods.
By spreading the word about our programs and initiatives, you’re enabling more people to get involved in helping the extreme poor.
9 – Pray
Giving doesn’t have to be tangible. As a Christian organization, we believe in the power of prayer. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to think about the desperate needs of the extreme poor. And often, we may wonder if our gifts and prayers even make a dent in the problem. But for our amazing God, who hung the universe on nothing and holds the oceans in His hands, nothing is impossible! He cares deeply about the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the extreme poor.
10 – Share Your Impact with a Bright Hope Coin
Become an advocate for the extreme poor and help others get involved by giving them a Bright Hope Coin (gift certificate). These coins give kids or adults the power to change lives and experience how good it feels when they do. Every Coin you purchase shares Hope over there… and over here!
Why Donate and Help?
Many of us have been sold—and have bought—the lie that accumulating more stuff will bring us happiness. But it’s just that—a lie.
Proverbs 23:4-5 says,
“Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.”
These verses teach us that wealth is transitory, like an independent, elusive eagle. It can fly away without notice, at uncatchable speeds, to unreachable heights. And when wealth flies away, those who have spent all their energy pursuing it realize the futility of their lives. God did not design money or possessions to provide ultimate security, nor should we make them the object of our faith.
In Matthew 6:19-34, Jesus assures believers that if we seek God’s kingdom and righteousness, He will provide the deep meaning and security we all long for. Now, here’s the rub. Millions of people around the world are barely surviving on less than $2 a day. They don’t have enough food and water, the basic necessities that make life possible. Did you know that the Bible contains hundreds of commands to care for the poor? But you may be wondering: Why? What’s the point and how is donating to the poor good? And how will giving to the poor benefit me?
Here are three reasons to donate to the extreme poor.
1 – Helping Others is a Joy and Pleasure
Giving generously to the poor is scientifically proven to make you happier, healthier, and more thankful! Even though most people believe that spending money ourselves will make us happier, a 2008 Harvard study showed that giving generously to those in need actually resulted in more perceived happiness. And not only that, a NIH study proved that giving to charity “activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust”* and may even release endorphins and oxytocin (hormones that make you feel happy and connected to others).
Other studies have shown that sharing your money with the needy decreases stress and anxiety, which can reduce the risk of associated health problems.
Also, when we part with our money and share it with others, we have an opportunity to reflect on how much we have to be thankful for. Giving, therefore, will help us to live with more gratitude and contentment.
2 – Donating Can Break Generational Poverty
Partnering with Bright Hope actually helps the poor break out of generational poverty by equipping them to develop sustainable income sources.
Break The Cycle Through Loans
For example, an impoverished mother of six living in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, received a $12 loan, started a business selling doughnuts, and increased her income so much that she could afford to send her kids to school for the first time. A $12 loan permanently transformed her family’s life! (How often do we waste $12 on overpriced coffee or something else unnecessary?) People living in extreme poverty often have the determination to work hard but often lack the training, tools, business/farming opportunities, and start-up cash needed for success.
Giving To The Poor Means Sustainable Education
For so many, merely surviving from day-to-day is a struggle. Without the means to get started, they are stuck where they are. They need help getting the ball rolling and training to keep it going – this often leads to a better physical life for their families. We can empower the poor to break free from the grip of poverty. How do we do this? By promoting education and vocational training, offering start-up loans, and helping the poor earn more money. Together we can help the impoverished build sustainable lives and pass this lifestyle on to their children.
Donations Help Local Communities Help Themselves
And the best part of our sustainability vision is our model of working through local churches to bring a permanent community-level change. So, when Bright Hope fully trains a church in these sustainability programs, we can leave, and the programs continue.
3 – Giving Cultivates Mutual Transformation
As you give to the extreme poor, your heart and faith will grow. That’s what we like to call mutual transformation. Giving produces generosity, which results in more giving, which produces more generosity… And this cycle of selflessness not only grows in us a sense of gratitude and purpose in life, but it reflects the very heart of God. As believers, we should want to obey God and trust that He knows what will make our lives truly meaningful. But more than that, as followers of Christ, people look to us—to our character and to what we value—to see what God is like.
At the end of the day, if we give generously to impoverished and suffering people, we reflect God’s loving and generous character. God proved His great love for us by giving us the most precious gift of all—His Son. So, as a result of receiving God’s forgiveness, grace, and eternal treasures to look forward to, we should want to grow in generosity, just like our heavenly Father.
What is the Best Way to Help the Poor?
While many of us go about our daily lives, millions of people across the globe are stuck living on less than $2 a day. This problem demands a solution! And among the many different solutions to poverty, we believe that one rises above the others.
At Bright Hope, we work to help the poor create sustainable livelihoods and break the poverty permanently.
But what is sustainability and why does it matter?
When Bright Hope talks about our “sustainable programs,” we are saying, “Hey! This program isn’t about a one-time attempt to make today easier for the poor.” Sustainable programs are those that make a permanent impact by helping poor individuals build their income, acquire education or vocational skills, and leave poverty behind.
Here are some examples of non-sustainable versus sustainable programs.
Example of a non-sustainable program:
Providing food and water to hurricane victims who have lost their homes is a non-sustainable program. This type of program plays a crucial role in alleviating the immediate symptoms of trauma or tragedy. But the food and water will only last until they’re gone.
Example of sustainable programs:
Most of our sustainability programs center around agricultural or pastoral resources. When we help impoverished communities plant a farm, or provide individuals with seeds, gardening tools, and agricultural training, we’re providing an ongoing source of income (a small business) and healthy nutrition (an ongoing food source).
In addition, when we give a family some chickens or pigs and train them to care for these animals, this is a sustainable program. The animals multiply, providing the family with food and a small business to support their family.
Where Can I Donate to the Poor?
If you stick around for long, you’ll probably hear us saying A LOT about people who barely scrape by on less than $2 a day. That’s because our mission is to help these precious people get out of poverty by increasing their incomes and introducing them to the master of all hope—Jesus. According to the World Bank, families who make less than $1.90 a day fall into the category of extreme poverty (We round this number up to $2 to simplify).
But what does it look like to live on less than $2 a day?
- Not enough food for all members of the family (Kids often go to bed hungry, and parents forgo meals so their kids will have enough).
- No indoor plumbing, bathrooms, hygiene, or sanitation.
- Very little to no access to clean water.
- No access to education, job training, or opportunities to improve their futures.
With that in mind, here’s an amazing truth: God gives us more than we need so that we can share with others (especially believers) who don’t have enough.
2 Corinthians 9:7-8 says:
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” ~ 2 Cor. 9:7-8
The countries where we work (Uganda, Bolivia, Kenya, Haiti, and Zambia) are home to many extremely poor families, especially in rural areas. And sadly, these are not the only countries that are desperate for donations, support and hope.
Below you will find some ways we work in these countries.
Where Your Support to Bright Hope Goes
Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has one of the highest income inequalities in the world. Nearly half of all Bolivians live below the poverty line. In partnership with 26 Bolivian church partners, we help meet people’s physical and spiritual needs through programs focused on medical services, care for vulnerable children, education, micro-enterprise and leadership development.
Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, has a rich history, a vibrant culture, and generous people. However, a devastating cycle of natural disasters, political instability, corruption, and crime hinder development in Haiti. As a result, many Haitian communities lack access to clean water, education, food, and economic opportunities—a sure recipe for extreme poverty. In partnership with 7 Haitian churches, we employ development programs to empower struggling Haitian families to build sustainable, livable incomes.
Kenya is a country filled with culture, color, and beauty. Unfortunately, Kenya also struggles with corruption, high unemployment, drought, violent unrest, crime, and poverty. But thanks to the support of our amazing Allies and the untiring work of our Kenyan church partners, more than 11,000 individuals received Hope and help in 2021 alone.
Uganda is crowned with breath-taking beauty from the snowy Rwenzori Mountains to the expansive Lake Victoria. HIV/AIDS, however, has turned at least 2.7 million kids into orphans, submerging many millions more under the weight of extreme poverty. But thanks to the devotion of our 90 Ugandan church partners, thousands have received microfinance loans, started businesses, and left poverty behind.
Zambia is home to a ruggedly beautiful landscape and diverse wildlife. HIV/AIDS, however, has slammed the nation, rendering millions of kids orphans. Now, almost half the population is 14 years old or younger. And most of these kids are stuck in the extreme poverty cycle. Yet, as we work through our six Zambian church partners, especially through the Christian Farmer’s Association, many rural communities have achieved sustainability and hope for the future.
Give to the Poor Today
Thank you so much for caring for the people stuck in the depths of poverty and sticking with us to the end of this article. We would love you to join us! Your partnership is crucial to winning the fight against extreme poverty. For more than 50 years, we have worked through in-country churches to help people create sustainable solutions to help break the generational chains of extreme poverty.
Our strategic ministry model has transformed thousands of communities and families. And we have the financial endorsements of Charity Navigator and ECFA to show that we will manage your gifts well.
Join us in providing nourishment for today, sustainable opportunities for tomorrow, and eternal hope for the future!
Serving Those Earning Less Than $2 A Day.
Bright Hope is a registered 501(c)(3) charity, and a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. We envision a world where under-resourced, local, in-country churches transform their communities and bring Hope to the extreme poor. We have been engaging the local church around the world for more than 50 years in the global fight against extreme poverty in their communities.