Is Giving Really Giving

Any believe the idea that “charity begins at home,” and strive to live by this principle. However, the word “charity” can have negative connotation as well, with some believing charity can lead to dependence and entitlement. That negativity often comes from getting a hand out versus a hand up.

What’s the difference? There are many third-world countries where a trip to the dentist is not only cost-prohibitive, it’s logically very difficult the full day trip to get to the dentist means an adult doesn’t get to work that day and possibly forfeits the ability to feed himself and his family.

And not only is there a loss of time, but there’s also the actual cost of care being provided. Sacrifice dental health in favor of dinners is probably an easy choicece.

A Dentist by the name of Roy Hammond from Utah decided to take it experience somewhere that adults and children had no place to get proper dental care. Which led to an organization called “Smiles for Hope” this organization has gone to 100 humanitarian missions to places like Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Nepal treating more than 120 people a day in remote areas that requires hours of riding a bus. But there’s a unique twist in how Smiles for Hope helps these people.

Skin In The Game

This dental care isn’t provided as just charity. People receiving care are required to pay from $1 to $3 per treatment which is a large amount of money where the average per-day earning is $1. The money is to make sure they “have skin in the game” making them even more invested in their own dental health.

The difference is the attitudes of the children attending the dental clinic are striking. In the Dominican Republic, children waited calmly and respectfully for their turn to see the dentist or the hygienist, while the children in places where dental care was pure charity sometimes they were less than polite or grateful. The Dominican Republic children were clearly impacted by the skin in the game attitude of their parents, which served as an excellent example as these children grew up to have their own children.

Paying It Back

What’s even more interesting is how these people – mostly mothers – have been able to earn the funds to care for their families, and become self-reliant. Many are getting micro-loans from Esperanza International an organization founded in 1995 by a former major league baseball player to provide these loans to impoverished families and businesses to improve economic development, and pull communities out of poverty.

In the Dominican Republic, the average micro-loan is about $200 and is provto those who come up with viable entrepreneurial business ideas. The interest rate on these loans is 21 percent, This may seem high but that interest rate allows Esperanza to send instructors to these communities to teach budding entrepreneurs about running a business, paying taxes, and growing their businesses which gets them more than just monetary value from the micro loan.

One great example is a mother who narrowed her first $200 purchased a standing shade tarp and opened for business as a hairdresser. Another woman had narrowed and repaid more than 15 microloans which ultimately put her in a position to develop several buildings, including a church, a strip makk, and a clinic for dental students. All for betterment of her community. Esperanza International has a 98.5 percent loan payoff rate.

Teaching To Fish

The well-worn out saying “ Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” couldn’t be more applicable here.

This then is the difference between giving a hand up instead of a hand out.

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