Small simple ideas on how to help the poor, especially the ones living around you:
1. Who Are The Poor You Can Help?
Become aware of what’s going on in your family/street/work etc. Who are the poor in your surroundings? Is there a colleague a disabled or sick child whose expenses are beyond his wage? An elderly neighbour who is poor or lonely?
2. Try To Understand The Poverty Of The Person In Front Of You
Have a heart. Try to feel the suffering of the poor and what it might mean to live at the risk of poverty.
3. Live Simply, Consume Less
People who help the poor often feel the need to live a simple lifestyle themselves. You can buy what you need rather than what you like. Ask: Do I really need 5 pairs of jeans or will 3 pairs be enough? A reduction in demand will also lower prices making them more accessible to those who do not afford much.
4. Become a friend of the poor
Both if you are an extrovert or an introvert, whether it’s simply “good morning” or finding time to listen to someone’s story, you can find your way of say “I care” to a poor person.
5. Give time to the poor
Show solidarity in concrete terms by giving some of your life. Maybe you can find some time to read stories to a young family member who is struggling with literacy, pass your high-school books to the children of a single mother who’s finding it hard to cope*, donate your baby equipment to a migrant family instead of selling them*, volunteer at an NGO who works with the poor, give money.
6. Treat the poor as your equals
We all share the same human dignity. Treating the poor as your equal is a way to show them respect. Donate with this kind respect and prudence in mind. Ask the person in front of you of s/he wants the item you want to donate rather than imposing it on them.
7. Support fair trade
Support fairly traded, community traded, ethically traded products that are as much as you can so farmers can get a wage which is enough for them to live. You can also sign petitions in favour of the poor and inform the shops where you shop that you are interested in fairly traded products.
8. Pray for the poor
Pray about your wish to help the poor to find how you, with your own character, life circumstances and financial means can do something for the poor.
Join the thousands of people are doing something for the poor in silence. Be part of it!
*If donating things to others is an inappropriate thing to do in your country consider giving them to a charity shop/NGO.