Josh Bolinger: Why Philanthropy Matters
I strongly believe that those who have been blessed with success and growth have an obligation to give back, to help those that haven’t been so fortunate.
That doesn’t always mean money. You can give back by educating, mentoring, even investing. And there are so many places where you can invest and make a huge difference for a fairly small investment.
I’ve heard the criticisms of non-profit and philanthropic organizations that do work overseas, I’ve heard it said that they should be investing here in the United States, helping folks right here at home. And there is some truth to that, charity does, indeed, begin at home.
But I have been poor. I have been homeless, broke and hungry. But, I still had fresh water to drink, protection from the elements, libraries to learn in, places that would help. Even being at the very bottom in the US, there are options; there is help, there is a way out, a hot meal and a way to move back up again.
Many developing countries have none of these options. No fresh water, clothing, not even shoes to protect their feet. Their waste gets into the limited water and food supply. They have no protection from the elements, disease or infection.
It’s difficult to imagine how life could ever get worse than what I have seen these poor souls endure. And they have no options. No help, no escape – this is every single day of their entire lives, trapped in a society of grinding poverty, with no upward mobility.
I know I was blessed to get out, to climb up the ladder to a place where my home and family are secure, where I do not lay awake at night wondering how I’m going to get my next meal.
I don’t know how you can possibly go through that, and not come away with a strong desire to help other people in the same situation. Whatever country they live in.