Modest NeedsI have recently been researching social change organizations that make it easy for regular people like you and me to make a difference. My hope is to bring this information to light in a way that is not so overwhelming – so that busy people who are already overwhelmed with life can still contribute in a simple and easy way to a meaningful cause. I was intrigued by an organization that I recently learned about from Karama Neal  named Modest Needs.

I have been reading  a lot lately about homelessness and poverty here in the US – the most frightening fact being that there are more homeless families with children now than ever before. For the most part, these are families with parents that work, who have an income but typcially fall on hard times (illness, loss of a job, medical expenses, other life events). Once they begin to get behind on core living expenses, they start on a downward spiral – beginning the cycle of poverty and homelessness. It is my understanding that once you cross that line and go down that path, it is extremely difficult to turn the situation around.

Modest Needs is a registered charity that works to stop the cycle of poverty before it starts for low-income workers struggling to afford emergency expenses like those we’ve all encountered before: the unexpected auto repair, the unanticipated trip to the doctor, the unusually large winter heating bill.

Modest Needs is funded exclusively by  private citizens – people just like me and you – with donations typically ranging from $5 to $100 at a time. They make it really easy to give – either a one-time donation or a monthly withdrawel from your bank account (it can be as little as 5$ per month). Giving to Modest Needs is completely tax deductable and they provide documention for that purpose.

What I really like about them is that they verify the recipients – and when you become a member you can read through the requests for help – you will be able to see which requests have been granted as well as which ones are still outstanding. There are also thank you letters from recipients as well.

If you believe in the power of human kindness to change lives, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to  Modest Needs.   One thing to note is that in 2007, your pledge of any size to Modest Needs is DOUBLED through a matching grant all year long.