By Brittany Ann, Crosswalk.com
Want to make a real difference but short on time?
While God does call some Christians to share the Gospel through overseas mission work, for many of us, our jobs, families, and other obligations can often prohibit us from having the time and freedom to make the type of difference we’d like.
The good news is: A lack of time doesn’t have to equal a lack of impact.
Sometimes, you just have to get creative -- or partner with others who are doing good work.
By donating to various Christian charities, you can join the cause to fight poverty, sickness, injustice, and more – all without leaving your house!
Whether you have a specific cause you want to support, you’re feeling inspired after reading a great Bible study on the topic, or you simply want to be a good steward of everything God has given you, here are 5 fantastic Christian charities worth supporting.
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1. Compassion International
Founded in 1952, Compassion International is a highly reputable Christian ministry dedicated to releasing children all around the world from extreme poverty.
Compassion International was started in 1952 by Reverend Everett Swanson while ministering to American troops in South Korea. While there, he was so moved by the numerous war orphans living on the streets that he spoke of them at his revival meetings back home. Those who heard his story donated and helped create the child sponsorship programs available today.
Now, in the last year alone, Compassion International has served over 2.3 million children, worked with local churches to provide 10.6 million meal packets, and donated over $16 million to disaster relief.
While you can donate any amount to a specific Compassion giving fund at any time, many donors love Compassion’s child sponsorship program. For an affordable monthly donation, you can choose a specific child to sponsor so you know your funds are making a real difference. You can write and receive letters to and from your sponsored child – or even visit their Compassion Center if you are able.
Your donation doesn’t only help the individual child, either. According to the latest data, 40% of Compassion children are more likely to finish secondary education, 80% are more likely to graduate from college, and 75% are more likely to become leaders in their communities.
Our family has sponsored multiple children through Compassion International for years, and it has been a wonderful and very worthwhile experience I’d highly recommend.
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2. HOPE International
HOPE International is a Christian non-profit committed to fighting global poverty by providing micro-loans and small business training to families in underserved areas across the world.
With locations in over 21 countries around the world, HOPE International aims to equip those in local communities with Christian discipleship and the dignity that comes from meaningful work. Most microloans start at $100-$2,000, and they create lasting impact in the lives of those who use them.
Since 1997, HOPE International has invested more than $1.5 billion in entrepreneurship opportunities, helped more than 2.6 million families, and enabled 9,600 local churches with the saving group ministry.
HOPE International’s website includes several ways to donate, including a gift catalog, one-time or monthly donations, or a non-cash gift. From their gift catalog, donors can pay for livestock or farming supplies, shopkeeping assets, or tailoring equipment to families in need. Non-cash gifts can be as simple as unused gift card balances or as large as stocks, vehicles, or even real estate.
Your donation can change lives in a sustainable, long-term way.
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3. CURE International
CURE International is a global non-profit network of children’s hospitals that provide no-cost surgical care in a compassionate, gospel-centered environment.
With eight different hospitals in places such as Kenya, Ethiopia, the Philippines, and Uganda, CURE International works with countless skilled surgeons who perform life-changing surgeries to fix treatable birth defects and disabilities, such as cleft lip, clubfoot, spina bifida, severe burns, and more.
In fact, since 1998, CURE International has visited over 5.3 million patients, performed over 330,000 surgeries, and recorded more than 250,000 decisions for Christ.
Sponsor a child’s surgery, send medical supplies, or fund the construction of new operating rooms through a one-time or monthly donation to one of CURE’s many funds. Alternatively, CURE International allows people to volunteer for their mission trips to any of their eight hospitals – you don’t have to be a doctor to get involved!
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4. World Vision
World Vision specializes in child sponsorship, community impact, and emergency relief. Through their child sponsorship program, donors can select a child with a specific birthday, gender, location, or need. Some families choose to match their own child’s birthday with that of a sponsor child or choose a child to sponsor who has been waiting the longest for sponsorship.
World Vision also offers a gift catalog to supply families with school materials, life-saving healthcare, access to clean water, and sustainable economic empowerment programs. Donors can purchase handmade artisan gifts sponsored by celebrities such as Melissa Joan Hart and Patricia Heaton or livestock such as chickens and goats.
Since 1950, World Vision has helped over 3.5 million children in over 100 countries by serving alongside all people, regardless of their faith, gender, race, or ethnicity.
You can learn more about World Vision here.
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5. Samaritan’s Purse
After Jesus shared his parable of the Good Samaritan, he stated, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37). This is the mission that Samaritan’s Purse aims to achieve -- following the example of Jesus Christ and helping people in need while sharing the hope of the Gospel.
Founded in 1970 by Bob Pierce (the same founder of World Vision) and later succeeded by Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse is an international relief organization best known for its specialized programs, including Operation Christmas Child, World Medical Mission, and International Crisis Response.
Pierce founded Samaritan’s Purse after traveling through Asia as an evangelist and journalist with Youth for Christ. In China, he encountered several women who were living among orphans and lepers, sacrificing everything they had to show the love of Jesus. This event inspired Pierce to create an organization that would find and support other courageous Christians who were already caring for the most undeserving and underprivileged in remote areas of the world.
While very similar to World Vision in their trustworthiness, transparency, and faith-based mission, the main difference between Samaritan’s Purse and World Vision is the focus on international emergency relief compared to World Vision’s focus on child sponsorship.
Both are well-known, reputable organizations worth supporting.
Don’t fall for the lie that what little you have isn’t enough or won’t make a difference.
When we study the Bible, we’re reminded that the same Jesus who used a few small fish and loaves to feed the masses still works miraculously in our lives today.
Don’t simply read the Bible to be inspired by what God did way back when. Take a step of faith and watch how God still performs miracles today! You might be surprised what a huge difference a little step of faith can make.
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