- Personal Finance
Save Money or Invest in Your Community
Sometimes you need to spend money
Money is tight for so many, I know first hand. We are officially down to one salary, and well, it's just not enough to make ends meet. Thankfully, I had the blessing of being taught at a young age how to save for occasions just as these. I'll write in another hub some of my experience with how to make a budget and save money.
But, this hub is about spending money, and when it's a good idea to do so. When times are tough, or even when they are good, if we close our fists to what we have, our hands aren't open to receive either. When you "spend money" by giving to others, God blesses it. When you realize that all you have is God's, and you are just a manager, your hands are open, not only to give, but also to receive. We don't give in order to receive, but the amazing thing about giving from the heart, is that God blesses it. And I've experienced that first hand.
Invest in Your Community and Country
There are so many wonderful organizations that use what you give to change lives and to help others. I could write thousands of hubs if I wrote about each of them. Today I will just showcase a few that I love because I have experience with them first hand and know that they are amazing organizations.
First, is Amigos en Cristo d.b.a. Amigos Center. I got started with Amigos in 2002 when I was a volunteer teaching English and helping with the music at their worship service. When I graduated college, I worked with them for almost 6 years. Daily lives are changed and families are made whole. They give spiritual, physical, and emotional support and stability to families through their church ministry, family based immigration services, and social services. They are located throughout Southwest Florida with the mission to provide the tools for successful assimilation to immigrants and their families. Wherever you stand on the issue of immigration, this organization is doing something about the issues by helping families and empowering them to help our community. If you're going to spend your money to invest in your community, or even your country, this is an amazing place to give.
Reach One Heart...Save Two Lives
Another organization that is worth giving to is the Immokalee Pregnancy Center. Immokalee is a small town of predominantly farmworkers, whose origins come from Mexico, Guatemala, or Haiti. The main traffic is by foot and by stroller. If a woman needs a free pregnancy test or to receive crisis pregnancy counseling, she most likely would have no opportunity to get to Naples or Fort Myers to see a crisis pregnancy center, which are nearly an hour away in driving distance. Having a crisis pregnancy center in Immokalee is an absolute necessity.
I have been on the board of the Immokalee Pregnancy Center since its beginning just a few years ago. In just a few short years, they now have their own facility where women can easily walk to for free tests and free counseling. There are many volunteer counselors and one bilingual client advocate, which is a necessity for the area. One of the most amazing updates is the ultrasound machine they had donated. Many crisis pregnancy centers spend years trying to raise funds for an ultrasound machine, and IPC has one, ready to change lives pending funds to hire a nurse to run it. Having an ultrasound machine is one of the most important ways to show women the beauty of the life inside of them when they are pregnant, which often convinces them of the importance to keeping their precious baby. As a Christ centered ministry, the choices given to women are keeping their baby and adoption, yet there is no judgement given to those who are considering having an abortion or have previously had an abortion and post-abortion counseling is offered. Yet for this organization all counsel and support given is to help women make informed choices to save the lives of their babies and often the women themselves.
The need for funds from outside Immokalee are crucial for organizations like Immokalee Pregnancy Center and Amigos Center to continue their important work in the community. You don't have to go outside the United States to help people. And although these are two ministries I support and believe in, I encourage you to research where you can help in your own community, and even in other impoverished areas of the United States, like Immokalee, FL.
If You Don't Know Where To GIve
If you don't know where to give you can find an organization in your community like the United Way. They raise funds to help support a variety of organizations who work together to give a holistic help to the community. Our United Way of Lee County, Florida is incredible and is worth supporting because they check into every agency to make sure the funds are used as designated. They help organizations work together and also give resource and aid themselves to the community through their phone number 211.
If you don't have a United Way or yours isn't very active in the community, start researching organizations where you have a passion. Do you have a love for children, families, animals, the elderly? Do you have a love for music, education, or the arts? And the best way to see if the organization is worth your funds, is to volunteer your time and get first hand experience in it. You'll be glad you did