Although Stocktrades tries to focus on investing and money saving tips, I realize there is a time to save and a time to give. If you’ve been thinking of giving back, you could consider sponsoring a child.
Sponsoring a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, however there are a few things you need to look out for prior to sending your hard earned money to the charity.
Research, research, research!
There are a ton of scams out there. Whenever scam artists can play on the heart strings of quality human beings to make a buck, they will do so. Make sure you’re looking for reputable agencies, ones that have a history of executing their plans and delivering money where it should go.
If you’re approached on the street by a charity worker, make sure you first verify the credibility of their business prior to giving them your credit card. One reputable organization you can check up on is Save The Children.
Make sure the money is going to the community
Most reputable charities will do this, but it is important to double check prior to signing up. Sponsoring individual families can have numerous negative effects. In a village of struggling people, sponsoring and individual child or family can cause conflict within the community and in your own mind. If thousands are struggling, would you not rather help the whole group, or one individual family? It’s difficult to imagine growing up in a poverty stricken area, only to see an individual family getting to live a better life because of a sponsorship.
This is ultimately a choice you make on your own, and if you are comfortable sponsoring an individual family you can certainly do so. But most charitable organizations have moved past this, for the reasons I explained above.
Watch out for religious based groups
As human beings, we all should have the ability to express ourselves in the way we would like to do so. Some of these organizations preach religious ideals to potential families in order to gain sponsorship.
As a struggling family, money will ultimately be the driving force to improve your quality of life. In return, you’d be willing to sacrifice some freedoms to be able to get that money. This puts families in these situations in a tough spot, and I would suggest to avoid them at all costs. There are lots of quality charitable organizations out there that are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, not to push religious beliefs.
Now that we’ve talked about some precautions you need to take prior to sponsoring a child, lets talk about the benefits. I like to focus on the positives of sponsoring a child, as there are a ton of them!
You’re helping a community in need
If you’re reading this right now, no matter how hard up you may be, you live the life of luxury compared to a large population of the world. Just the ability to have an internet connection is a luxury that many people in undeveloped eastern countries do not have. In fact, they often can barely afford to put clothes on their back and food in their bellies.
This shouldn’t be something anyone has to suffer with, and for most of us we can’t even imagine the struggles they go through. One benefit of the internet? It has made it insanely easy to help, and it’s one of those feel good moments once you do it.
If you happen to hit up your local coffee shop every morning, you’ve likely got enough to sponsor a child. In fact, most sponsorship’s cost less than the price of a coffee.
You’re helping the helpless
Most children in these countries are bound to a life of poverty. They don’t have access to education, clean clothes or even medication they need to survive. And the sad reality of it is, they can’t do much about it themselves. By sponsoring a community, you allow these children to have access to the things they need to be as successful as they can, and in turn it will develop the community and provide a generation that can at at the very least make improvements to the quality of life within the community.
The results are well documented
As per this article from SFGate, children stayed in school for 11 years compared to 10 without sponsorship. 7.8% of sponsors graduated from college, almost double that of unsponsored. The results are real, and one of the primary reasons western families decide not to sponsor children is simply because they don’t know where their money is going to. As I said above, if you choose a reputable organization, you can rest assured your money is going to help communities in need, and help them develop a better life for everyone within it.