The image source is Pexels.
The sad reality about the world today is that there’s a huge gap between the rich and the poor. It’s estimated that less than a tenth of the world’s population lives in extreme poverty, and more than 40% lives below the $5.50 line. Such a lifestyle contributes to high child deaths due to preventable diseases.
However, there is a silver lining. Multiple philanthropists have made it their mission to donate to charitable organizations to make life a little bit easier for those struggling to make ends meet. From feeding programs to education, here’s how influential people play their role in combating the poverty crisis.
Bill and Melinda Gates are not new to the charity arena. Launching the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, the pair have played a vital role in minimizing extreme poverty worldwide, enhancing healthcare, and facilitating access to education for all. Locally, the foundation works towards increasing opportunities for students to gain knowledge on information technology. Living to its mission of improving the quality of life among people worldwide, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has touched the lives of millions, if not billions. Among the programs that the organization funds globally include STD mitigation, agricultural research, basic nutrition, and malaria control.
As a founder of the big tech firm Microsoft, you can bet that Bill Gates has amassed quite a fortune in his own rights. He often gives to charitable organizations (most non-profits) and has donated over $50 billion. Bill and Melinda Gates are privy to what giving back to society entails.
Feeding America’s CEO
When you think of a feeding program, the name Claire Babineaux-Fontenot probably comes to mind. Claire oversees Feeding America: The nation’s second-largest US charity (if you go by Forbes) and its largest hunger-relief organization. That consists of a network of 6,000 meal programs and food pantries as well as 200 food banks. The purpose of the organization is to end hunger by linking people with food. And that will only be possible through the donors’ efforts and, more importantly, the management team of which Claire is a part.
As CEO of Feeding America, Claire touches the lives of millions of families grappling with hunger by working towards getting food to as many families as possible. When the global pandemic came, she developed a response fund to sustain food banks and assist the most vulnerable communities countrywide. In the words of Babineaux-Fontenot, “Be the change you wish to see—NOW!!” And you can agree she abides by that.
Oprah Winfrey overcame many obstacles to become a renowned talk show host, and she did not stop at that. Growing up in a poor household meant that the celebrity grew up amidst the troubles that poverty brings about, from hunger to sexual abuse. Winfrey then rose to stardom and uses her space in the media limelight to air people’s needs around the world and link such people to resources.
The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation was also born out of the giving nature of the celebrity philanthropist. Oprah Winfrey donates much of her hard-earned money to her foundation, whose responsibilities include paying for university students’ education. The program entails raising a student population that swiftly navigates the social and cultural setting and becomes future leaders. With a learned background and life skills in tow, the chances of beating poverty are relatively high.
The poverty crisis is a global emergency, whether you acknowledge it or not. It’s paramount for everyone to play their role in alleviating that norm and make the world a better place. Whether you donate millions or hundreds of bucks for a good cause, every dollar is worthwhile. Remember that it all starts with you!