Today is "blog action day" for poverty. Here are two things to keep in mind:
(1) Don't believe the lie that "if we had less, they would have more" which is a dogma of poverty activism. Because we in the West have a functioning system of government and trade, and have more than other countries, we are somehow evil. We should reduce ourselves to the dysfunctional level of the rest of the world and do without, and magically other people will suddenly have more. The world is not a zero-sum game, and if Americans had less of everything nothing would change. Study the roots of poverty, and you'll find that the more aid given by rich countries, the less difference it makes. I remember Live Aid in 1985, when all my favorite musicians got together to help poverty and hunger. In the decades since, nothing has changed. And nothing ever will. The causes of poverty are systemic in broken, dysfunctional countries. The only way to help is to change their systems, not give them more money.
(2) Poverty is big business. If everyone in America who shops at certain stores buys a ghost, or Christmas stocking, or whatever for $1, that's a whole lot of cash. It's so little that you'd be ashamed not to help. When K-Mart had one of these things, I looked up the charity behind it, and saw the woman running it made half a million dollars per year! It's a nice, comfortable life to have everyone in America give you $1 each year and you get a big paycheck. The poverty industry has no intention of getting rid of poverty, because they'd have to get real jobs. I encourage you not to do impulse giving. Don't give a dime until you have fully checked out an agency and see where the money goes. You're probably just helping someone live an easy life off the backs of others. They're counting on you doing the impulse thing and buying a ghost for $1 to feel better that you've helped the world be a better place, while they sit back and live fat and happy off of the donations.
This is probably not what they had in mind with "blog action day"....