It is early in the morning and you just realized that you found $20 in your pocket. What do you do with it?
You are planning to go to a school in a low-income area, and so you start thinking that maybe you can give the $20 to someone in need. When you get to the first class, you notice this one student. Your thoughts go to the money in your pocket.
“Maybe I can buy this kid some new shoes, or maybe he would like a different shirt or pants. No, I need to get him something cool – like a video game or a movie.” The thoughts swirl in your mind with all the possibilities.
You want to use this money in the best way possible, but it’s not a whole lot of money. And frankly, you will not miss it when it is gone but you want it to be received well and be helpful to the person who receives it.
Then another student walks into the classroom. Then another, and another, until the whole classroom is full.
“Man, this is really frustrating, now there are 25 students in this class. Maybe I should go get a bag of candy for all of the kids and stretch this money further to include them all.”
The bell rings. You and the class make your way down the crowded hall to the campus assembly room and all of the sudden you realize there are a thousand students in the school.
“This is silly. Twenty bucks is useless with so many kids. Is there a way I can use this money in a way that would benefit as many people as possible?”
I would suggest we start at the beginning. What are you trying to accomplish with the $20? You can only spend it once – so knowing why you are spending it is just as important as how you spend it.
“I want to help a kid” might be your response.
“I want to help a classroom of kids,” would also be a valid response.
“I want to help the entire school,” could work too.
Regardless of which option you choose, there are some basic questions that must be asked before you can help anyone. For instance, if I want to “help”, what does that even mean? Do I want to give something that the child may want, or do I want to give something that he needs? How can I best help people in need?
Also, there are people connected to the child who would have a good understanding how best to “help.” You might talk with the student’s teacher or parents to assess what she really needs. You might talk with the teacher of the class to find out what the class needs. You might choose to talk with the principal of the school to ascertain the one thing that would be most beneficial for the entire student body. Either way, for us to step in and assume we know what is best might not be the best approach.
The same is true when it comes to using money to help others internationally. You might want to help a child, a group of children, or even a whole community. Your resources are limited, but every little bit helps, right? Yes, but only if those resources are used to actually assist the people. Buying ice cream for a classroom of kids who are lactose intolerant would be silly. Likewise, it doesn’t make sense when we send items overseas that don’t really benefit the recipients.
For nearly 70 years, AMG International has been helping children, families and communities through their Bundles of Love program. Each year during the Christmas season AMG sends the money received from its resource partners for the Bundles program to locations all around the world. Our national leaders then use the funds to purchase items locally to meet the specific needs of the children and families to whom they minister to year-round. The community receives an economic benefit as the items are purchased locally, and families benefit as well. Items received through the Bundles program relieve the financial burden of parents and guardians with limited resources. The children, usually the focus of the donor, benefit the most because they receive items they truly need for long term help.
It is only $20, but when used correctly, it can change the lives of many people in need! Is that what you want to do? If so, please consider joining AMG in providing Bundles of Love this Christmas season. It is a wonderful way to demonstrate the love of God to little ones caught up in the cycle of poverty.