Your time and talents are important. When you don’t have money to give in order to help others, you still have valuable gifts to offer. Your skills, your companionship, and your enthusiasm can make a big difference in the life of a person struggling in poverty. When you want to donate your time, it’s important to think about the skills you have to see where you can best spend your time and talents.
Think About Practical Skills
If you’re great at saving money and creating a budget, these are often skills that are useful for those living in poverty to learn. Most people living in poverty are living from crisis to crisis, without the ability to focus on the bigger picture. This makes saving for the future impossible and the reliance on community services high. In order to break this cycle, it’s necessary to learn how to manage money in a way that increases overall wealth and independence. While this isn’t the only factor that keeps people poor, your skill at creating a budget can be useful.
Why People Remain in Poverty
People who are poor aren’t lazy. In many cases, those living in poverty are working several jobs in order to try and keep their lives under control. The problem is, when you are living paycheck to paycheck, you end up paying more for goods and services. For example, you can’t stock up on goods that are on sale at the grocery store, because you just don’t have the extra money. You buy what you need, when you need it. You may buy the cheapest pair of shoes you can find, only to find that it wears out within a month. Your access to quality goods and services is diminished when you are living in poverty, your interest rates tend to be high, and your ability to save is compromised.
Jobs that Pay a Living Wage
In September 2010, President Obama, a strong advocate for the poor, made the statement, “We have got a lot of people who work and are still impoverished. And so we’ve got to make work pay. That means that we’ve got to increase the minimum wage.” In addition to increasing the minimum wage, it’s important to have proper training and skills. When those living in poverty are provided training that improves their skills, they are better equipped to find a better paying job.. If you have specific job skills, if you can help with resume writing or learning interviewing techniques, you can help an individual find a job that provides a living wage.
Understanding the Hurdles Out of Poverty
Once you understand why those that are living in poverty remain poor, you can make more informed decisions on how you can help. Sometimes all it takes is a ride to a job interview, or a new outfit in order to attend that interview. Transportation is often a big factor that keeps people in poverty, especially those that live in rural areas with inadequate public transportation systems. Poverty is not a choice. People who are poor often lack the basic support necessary to survive in today’s economy. When you don’t have money to give, you have your time and support. Find your niche, and discover how you can give to others.
At Community Action Services and Food Bank we are always looking for volunteers who can help further our mission to help people break out of poverty. Call us today at 801-691-5220 to see what opportunities are waiting for you.