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Modest Needs: Small Change. A World of Difference

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You hear about it many times. Some rich, and often famous, person donated X amount of dollars to a fund that feeds children in starving countries. Bill Gates instituted a scholarship in the name of his father at his Alma Mater. Right now, I’m in the Julia Yates Semmes Library. Mrs. Semmes “donated $1 million to the San Antonio Public Library to create a special collection, including books and equipment, for the visually impaired.” What these philanthropists do is outstanding. Giving back to the local and worldwide community is a great way to spend wealth (and receive a hefty tax deduction). But have you ever noticed that the only organizations that receive this money are the ones that need millions of dollars? It’s a wonder where all that money goes. We hardly ever see the results from grand fundraisers and pledge drives. They seem to only affect the extremely needy in far off countries or the excruciatingly desolate, underprivileged people in a local neighborhood.



modest.jpgModest Needs is not your typical non-profit organization. It doesn’t provide vaccinations for the dying kids in South America. It doesn’t build clean-water reservoirs for the people in Africa. It doesn’t provide shelter for the homeless in the inner-city slums. Rather, this organization helps ordinary people like you and me with smaller unexpected financial crisis. They assist people who can’t afford a decent funeral, a month’s rent, a heating bill, or a doctor’s bill. They help people who have experienced short-term financial hardship get back on their feet with small one-time grants.

“Modest Needs is a registered charity that works to stop the cycle of poverty before it starts for low-income workers struggling to afford emergency expenses like those we’ve all encountered before: the unexpected auto repair, the unanticipated trip to the doctor, the unusually large winter heating bill … Together, we can make sure that no hard-working person is ever forced to choose between taking a child to the doctor and putting food on the table.”

Real-life Scenario
Short-term financial hardships will affect every person at some point. Recently, it hit close to home. My sister, all too suddenly, found herself in a financial bind. Her roommate couldn’t pay the rent for the past couple of months and her car tires desperately needed to be replaced. Read her application 55526. She applied for help at Modest Needs and after confirming a list of things to verify (like income, employment, etc) they sent her a check made out to “Wal-Mart Tire and Lube!”

check.jpg

When I donate (my little offering) to Modest Needs, I know that my money will actually help one person. It won’t be just a drop in the bucket. Typically, the grants are less than $500. Compare that to Mrs. Semmes! They don’t request enormous sums of money like other institutions. They just ask for a couple of dollars! I like what they say on their website: “Small Change. A World of Difference.”

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Posted on Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

One Response to “Modest Needs: Small Change. A World of Difference”

  1. Sherri Says:

    Hi…found your blog while Googling Modest Needs. You see I am one of the many individuals that have sought help there. We are a loving couple, with a big dream, to buy a home that we can open to foster children. As an adoptee myself that suffers with infertility, my heart longs to offer a home to children in need.

    In order to make this dream come true, my husband and I have sat down with a lender and found that a few minor past due bills from our credit report are hindering us from this dream.

    Although we have been able to pay a few of them, we have had set backs from car troubles which hinder us from completing the payoffs by our goal date of October 1st, 2008.

    It sure would be cool if someone that donated to Modest needs, and reads your blog, would consider helping fund our points required of 1250. I

    I wish you the best in all you endeavor to do.

    Our Modest needs link is
    http://www.modestneeds.org/features/ledger/viewapp.asp?mode=upd&rp=l&id=84702&pageno=1&monthno=30&yearno=0

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