The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world and continues to wreak havoc on the world’s population. Current global infection and mortality rates stand at about 78.9 million infections and 1.733 million fatalities. The world has moved into the worst recession since the 1930s Great Depression. The IMF estimates that at least $28 trillion has been lost in global output since the arrival of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, at the end of 2019.
August 2020 numbers quoted by Forbes.com reported that 54.7 Americans have applied for unemployment since mid-March 2020. This translates into far more than 1 million applications per week. And, to make these numbers worse, the World Bank reported in their 7 October 2020 article that “global poverty is expected to rise in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years as the disruption of the COVID-19 compounds the forces of conflict and climate change.”
The article titled, “COVID-19 to Add as Many as 150 Million Extreme Poor by 2021” goes on to state that the “COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021.”
Clearly, this is an untenable situation and requires a coordinated response by every global citizen. Therefore, the question that begs is, what can you and I do to help alleviate the extreme poverty facing many of our fellow citizens?
The straightforward answer to this question is to donate to charity. However, as usual, there is no easy answer. Thus, by way of attempting to answer this question, let’s look at the raison d’etre for donating to charitable organizations and Non-Profits (NPOs).
1. Charitable organizations cannot do it without us
Succinctly stated, charities and NPO cannot function and do their work without financial assistance from individuals and corporates.
At this juncture, it is vital to note that it does not matter how much you give. Here, the salient point is that you give, even if it is a couple of dollars each month. Let’s validate this statement by considering the following mathematical calculation.
Let’s assume that 1 000 people donate $10 to Charity X. This charity will receive $10 x 1 000 = $10 000. However, if 50% of the 1 000 people believe that giving $10 is embarrassing, they don’t contribute anything. Consequently, this charity will only receive $5 000 instead of $10 000. These numbers increase exponentially as well. If 2 000 donate $10 each to Charity X, then the charity will increase its efforts to help people in extreme poverty because the 2 000 people’s donation of $10 each translates into $20 000.
2. Donating to charity makes you feel good
Supporting charities and NPOs is a significant mood booster. In other words, you feel good about yourself when you help other people, especially those less fortunate than you.
A 2008 Harvard study found that donating money to charity “lifted participants’ happiness more than spending it on themselves (despite participants’ prediction that spending on themselves would make them happier).”
Thus, not only does give to charity help the organization achieves its stated aims, but it also helps you feel good.
In summary, it has a lot to do with the secretion of happiness hormones or chemicals like dopamine due to helping someone else. Thus, when you help someone, dopamine is secreted into your brain, making you feel good about yourself and your actions.
3. Giving as a family introduces your children to the importance of practicing generosity
Children must learn about generosity and generous giving at an early age.
The concise answer to this question is that teaching children generosity from a young age will enable them to change the world.
From a layman’s perspective, one of the unfortunate reasons why the SARS-CoV-2 virus is continuing to rampage its way across the globe, causing untold physical, mental, and economic harm, is because many people are not thinking of other people, only themselves. This virus spreads via person-to-person transmission. And at the moment, and for the foreseeable future, the best non-pharmaceutical way to prevent the virus’s spread is by social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitizing frequently.
It is incredible how many of the world’s citizens are not prepared to wear a mask and social distance; thereby, providing the mechanism for the virus to continue spreading unabated.
Thus, if children learn generosity and charitable giving from a very young age, they will naturally consider others’ well-being when making decisions that affect other people’s lives as well as their own lives. The world can only become a better place. And finally, it is our job as parents to impart these critical life skills to our children.