At the Catholic New Media Celebration this year, veteran blogger Amy Welborn talked about the importance of using new media to engage in spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
Today I came across "The Hunger Site," and was struck by how many of the corporal works of mercy we can accomplish simply by shopping at their store:
To feed the hungry: This one requires no financial investment, just moments of your time. All you have to do is click here. Or, for as little as $1, you can add to the important work of "The Greater Good." Or, since charity begins at home, for $25 you can feed a family of five right here in the U.S. through Second Harvest.
To give drink to the thirsty: For less than $30 you can supply clean drinking water to a village in Haiti.
To clothe the naked: $14 buys school shoes for girls in rural Africa. $20 buys school uniforms and a year's school supplies for two girls in Afghanistan.
To house the homeless: The cyclone victims of Burma still need our help -- as little as $25 can make a difference. And, as stewards of God's creation, our compassion must extend to the animal world as well. Animal lovers can contribute $25 to provide food and other rescue services for the estimated 3 million animals that were displaced in China after the earthquakes.
To visit the sick: I was impressed with how many medical projects are available. $109 buys a bicycle for a Zambian HIV/AIDS health worker. A clean Childbirth Kit for Burmese midwives can be funded for less than $25. As little as $10 provides a year's worth of basic medical care for a street child in India.
To ransom the captive/bury the dead: This was my favorite project. In poverty stricken areas of Africa, an orphan is often left to fend for herself ... or subjected to all kinds of mistreatment and abuse. For $60, you can provide an animal "dowry" that provides assistance to families who take in one of these orphans, ensuring that the milk or other food products these animals provide will lighten the financial burden (and help to provide better treatment to the child). And by caring for their children, we also honor the memories of those who died too soon.
If you're looking for a practical way to alleviate the suffering of the poor, and to teach your children important lessons in compassion, this is an excellent place to start!
Looking for an opportunity to give back this summer? Consider taking an inner-city kid into your home for the month of August. For details, click here.