After reading a New York Times op-ed by Arthur C. Brooks in which he discusses why he enjoys fund-raising, I began to think about why I give money to the Center for Community Change. In his article, Brooks says people who donate money feel like problem solvers and that naturally, problem solvers feel happier than people who just accept the troubles around them. I understood his sentiment, but it was difficult for me to personally relate to that way of thinking.
I am privileged to be blessed with a stable job and a steady income, but I am by no means a rich man, and the $10 a month I give to CCC isn’t solving our nation’s poverty problem. So if I’m not solving a problem, why am I giving in the first place? Inevitably, after some inner turmoil, I always come back to the same conclusion to my mini-existential crisis.
For one, as Brooks says in the last sentence of his piece, when I donate, “I breathe more meaning into my life.” I’m taking control and saying to the world and myself that I care enough about this cause to give my time and effort. Because even if it’s not much, I earned that money, and I get to spend it on what I choose is worthwhile — and that is very important to me.
And at the end of the day, my donation alone isn’t going to be the investment that solves the poverty crisis in America. Just as one person alone cannot change the system; it takes a movement. My donation is part of something greater than me, something that cannot take shape without me. My donation, together with many other CCC donors, allows the organizers to do the work that builds the movements that are critical in this fight against poverty.
My $10 a month adds up to $120 a year. Just imagine if 1,000 people gave that much. Suddenly my $120 becomes part of $120,000… and what if that movement grew to 10,000 people? Then I’m a part of a $1.2 million gift! So, in fact, I am helping to solve the problem.
I encourage you to be a problem-solver, too. Help fight poverty in this country. Sign up to become a monthly donor to CCC.