Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What I Think About--Giving Away Half of My Money

Did you hear that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have joined together and are asking American billionaires to donate half of their wealth (that's 50%) to charity?

At first glance I thought, "good.  They should.  They can afford it!"

Then I remembered this little book, The Hole in Our Gospel, that I read over Christmas break (it was a gift--this is not a sponsored blog).  Boy did that book rock my world!

Consider this.

I bought this dress at a garage sale for $2. (What a steal!  I know!).
Here's the catch.

My dress = what 40% of the world's people make in one day.
You read that correctly.  2.6 billion people make less than $2 a day.

Here's a photo of one half of one of my pantries (yes, it always looks like this).

And the reality?  
1 in 7 people worldwide--that's 854 million--do not have enough food to sustain them.
25,000 people die of hunger and hunger related causes a day--that's 9 million people a year.

When I'm thirsty, I have access to clean water.  Like most Americans, I use 80-100 gallons of water a day.

Meanwhile, 1.1 billion people have no access to adequate water.  Five million die every year because of water-related illnesses.

Finally, in 1998, Americans spent:
  • $8 billion on cosmetics
  • $17 billion on pet food
  • $400 billion on narcotics

In comparison, what would it take to offer basic social necessities to all global citizens?
  • $6 billion to offer everyone a basic education
  • $9 billion to provide clean water and basic sanitation
  • $13 billion to offer basic health care and nutrition to all

What I think is Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are to be commended for doing their part to offer all people a chance for a better future.

What I REALLY think is we--you and me--can do better than this.

Do we have to give away half of our income to make a difference?  No!
Do we have to start somewhere? Yes.

  • Take food to a local food bank
  • Clean out our closet and donate unwanted clothing
  • Adopt a child for $30 bucks a month
Your thoughts?  Your simple ideas on how we can give?


  1. I agree we should be doing what we can. We adopted a child through Compassion International a year and a half ago! We also donate most of our unwanted stuff to the Salvation Army. If everybody did a little, it would add up to a lot!

  2. Good points, great post. It is sad where a lot of money goes, I bet a lot of money goes to lottery tickets and gambling as well. I can honestly say that I don't spend my money on narcotics or expensive cosmetics or brand new expensive clothes. Can't really afford to even if I wanted to ;). Although many of these folks have addictions to these things and I am sure they don't mean to blow their money they just need some loving intervention.
    I even starting visiting Goodwill and yardsales less than last year, trying to make sure I actually would use items and not cause clutter. We don't have a ton a money still blessed and we can still donate some food\clothing and toys. Volunteering your time is a great thing as well. I know it is hard for stay at home mommies. I hope to do it more one day even if I just start by volunteering more at our church.
    I always donate our leftover yard sale items, which is still in pretty good condition. That is great that they are donating money to charity, there is a scripture about the woman that gave her last bit of money would be more blessed than a rich man donating a fraction of his money. I like that dress by the way.

  3. GREAT POST!!! So very true. Most people point fingers at those they consider more financially stable than they are and say 'they should do more!" The truth is MOST of us could do a whole heck of a lot more. If everyone did their part.. social issues would go away. Poof.. gone.

  4. This is a great post, especially now that the economy is bad and many of us are feeling like we are broke. Truly, we have SO much!

  5. When we were kids around Christmas time my mother would make us gather a bunch of our toys that we hadn't played with in a while and give them away to less fortunate family's. I now do the same with my boys.
    I still should do a lot more than that.

  6. I love this post! I love this mindset. Thanks for linking to the Reuters article too. It excites me to read things like that! I think we need to constantly be challenging ourselves & re-evaluating how we spend our money, time, resources, etc. There is almost always more that we can do if we look.

    I read something the other day about some (older) kids in another country that didn't even know what clean water looked like ---they had no idea that water was clear. Things like this make my heart race & my eyes water.

    Thanks for the reminder to always be purposeful & intentional about being wise & generous with all that I have been blessed with.

    I have been wanting to read that book...I need to order it!

    oh...I could keep commenting with all my thoughts but I will stop!

    Thanks for this, Reagan!

  7. @Sarah--I agree!

    @AmberRay--I try to hold back on garage sales for the same reason. No need to go to garage sales simply to find something for my garage sale! ha!

    @Mandy--If only we would ...

    @Jami--Sometimes I think we get so stuck in what we DON'T have that we forget what we do have. People who have A car are among the richest in the world (and some of us lament over not having 3 car garages!)

    @Everyday Mom--Great idea. Sounds like you're doing your part!

    @Shelly--Read the book. It's a WHOLE new level of conviction!


{Reverse Psychology}
I DO NOT like comments. Whatever you do, don't leave me a comment about this post or your thoughts or any connections you have to what I wrote. Seriously, I don't care.
(Did that reverse psychology work???)