Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gross Insensitivity

Wow, how greedy of me to put adSense on my blog on Blog Action Day 2008, which is focused on fighting poverty. Certainly this is a noble cause and I do support it. I actually do quite a lot within my own community to give back to society and a substantial portion of that is directed at reducing poverty. Reaching further to those who really need help, I recommend Mothers Fighting for Others which helps kids in Africa. A remarkable model, though aimed at a different group, is microlending. Kiva has a good reputation, but as with any financial issue, check out who you're dealing with. One more great movement is "homeless newspapers." In Seattle, we have Real Change, a socially conscious newspaper largely (if not entirely) produced by the homeless and those who have found housing options by working for Real Change. Each copy of the paper costs ten cents to the distributors, who are all homeless, and is sold for a dollar each. Really great markup, but the paper is usually a good read, and it is only a buck. Plus, I like the model of people working and growing a business.

I love programs like Mothers Fighting for Others because there is very real, and far-reaching immediate need for assistance in so many places, and at the same time, very great capacities to alleviate this in so many other places.

I love establishment-busting ideas like microlending and "homeless newspapers" because they are long term solutions to help people who can help themselves and want to, but need a little outside help first. Bridging the Haves with the Have-nots has never been more effective.

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