Next week is Giving Tuesday and you will be hard pressed to find someone more excited about this than me. I love that as a culture we have added a day of generosity and giving to our holiday consumer line up starting with Black Friday.
My whole life I have been honored to be connected to people sacrificially working for the benefit of marginalized people and the good of the world. As a little girl the founder of Royal Family Kids held founding meetings in our living room. My parents would host missionaries who were directing schools and equipping leaders. As an adult my career has led to friendships with individuals advocating for justice and working to alleviate poverty in places all around the world. My friends do the day to day, frontlines hard work of visiting the prisoner, addressing roots of systemic brokenness, teaching children, neighboring in heartbreaking situations and more.
At times when we share what is really going on in our hearts and lives, a common theme comes up: we are energized by the work, even though it can be draining and discouraging at times, we see light overcoming darkness but the constant strain of finances is what is wearing us down.
No matter what project I have been working on or what organization I am with, there is an ongoing concern about funding and sustainability for the organization. Leaders are stressed out about how to keep their significant work going over the long haul required to actually bring about change. It just seems that the rate of the need and innovation to address it outpaces the funding coming in to resource the solutions.
I often fall asleep asking God, "Why are your Kingdom superstars struggling? Do you not see their obedience? Can you not hear their requests? Are you unaware of who they are helping?"
My late night prayers can sound like the psalmist letting God have it.
But in my heart of hearts, I do not believe there is a resource problem in the world, but a stewardship and distribution problem. A lot of my time is spent considering how to help donors direct their funds to the most strategic solutions and understand the time it takes to turn back centuries of oppression and poverty.
My experience is that people want to be a part of alleviating poverty and bringing about justice in the world, some times they just don't know how. So this Giving Tuesday I have done you the favor of developing a list of organizations to give to. I may not have a lot of money but I do have a voice to shout about the incredible work of my friends and ask you to support it. The Executive Directors are my friends. They are people of fiery passion, deep conviction, and creative implementation. They are fine leaders and direct incredible organizations.
This Giving Tuesday (and all year long) please consider giving to one or all of the following organizations:
Local- Costa Mesa, CA:
Mika CDC - builds whole relationships with God, self, and community through leadership development and community building strategies
SoftBoot - is breaking generational cycles of financial poverty by training young people to code and be prepared for entry into the tech industry
Local Orange County, CA:
Camino Immigration Services - provides legal services to the immigrant community of OC. They have been busy this year with the changes in DACA and increasing their advocacy and education work.
Sequoia Collective - is an action tank for the common good. They help businesses, cities, and organizations answer three vital questions: Are you doing what you set out to do? Are you making the impact you dreamed of? How do you know?
HopeMob - is a community and platform for funding leaders of color who are often grossly underfunded compared to their white peers working in the same community.
ENLACE equips churches in El Salvador, Nepal, and Guatemala to transform their communities. They commit to accompanying a church with coaching and training for 7-10 years and measure community impact in that time.