Friday, November 30, 2007

Richer than you think


One of the catchier inducements for sharing and giving during the holiday season can be found in a British-based Internet project that literally makes charitable giving inescapable.

CARE International makes a strong case that most people are wealthier than they realize.

It provides a Web site, www.globalrichlist.com, that invites people to list their income in their national currency. Once done, up pops a scale showing where they stand on the world’s register of wealth—and inevitably far richer than those whose lives would be bettered by a few precious dollars, 45 million of whom CARE International serves.

For example, a donor could buy 25 fruit trees for $8 for a Honduran family to grow and sell fruit at the market. A Haitian village could have a complete DVD box set of emergency first aid procedures for $30. An entire generation of children could be schooled in an Angolan village for $2,400.

Yes, charity begins at home. But helping the needy abroad is not only humanitarian idealism, it’s geo-politically beneficial. The more that wealthier nations can do to brighten the fortunes of desperate Third World countries, the results will be less grimmer consequences—famine and civil wars—that will inevitably require costlier intervention by wealthier nations.

CARE International whose clever Web site caught our eye, is but one of many, many groups accepting donations for the neediest of the world’s people.

Its universal message is that most of us have enough to share with others. Pitching in with a few dollars to improve a world rife with inhumanity is more important than ever.




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