You hear about a bridge collapsing in Minnesota, dams breaking in New Orleans, and an earthquake in Indonesia. You'd really like to help, but where can you give? How do you know that your money is actually helping the hurting people instead of paying some charity CEO a fat paycheck?
Kay Marshall Strom answers those questions in Harvest of Hope. She describes different types of aid that several Christian agencies offer. The aid varies from providing animals for food banks in Asia, aid to children, digging wells, helping women in third world countries receive an education and start a family business, medical clinics, AIDS work, help for families with a disabled member, church planting, and disaster assistance.
Though she describes aid offered mostly through Partners International, she also tells about some work from Samaritan's Purse, Sisters in Service, Wheels for the World, World Vision, and others. The book includes an appendix listing the agencies mentioned.
Not only does Strom describe the work done, she also takes the reader to the various countries to meet people who are touched by the donations. We meet a farmer in Cambodia whose new heifer gives him a livelihood, an AIDS victim that has training and work to support herself and her child, a missionary who supports herself so that she can minister to the poorest widows of India, and children who can go to school now because of a generous donor. We also meet those who give: first graders who purchased farm animals for the animal bank program; a family that gives the man who has everything a different donation each year; and a family who built someone else a home when upgrading their own.
Strom also leads the reader into what makes an effective and ineffective relief donation. For instance, one humanitarian group built a clinic in an area that had no doctors or nurses, so the building sits empty. She points out that those groups which work through or with groups in the country in question are most effective. She also suggests you ask certain questions of yourself to determine what you really want from a charity.
Strom turns what could be a boring list into an interesting book through well-written, interesting stories of real people, such as the Christian brother who never smiled but donated land and built a church for the people. If you are interested in helping others by donating, you will find Harvest of Hope interesting and well worth reading. – Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
When you give money to a charity, what happens to it? Does the money actually reach a person who is in need? Does a small gift really make a difference to anyone?
Several years ago Kay Marshall Strom discovered a new avenue for giving that especially intrigued her: gift catalogs. The catalogs, put out by various organizations, offer opportunities to provide specific material, educational and medical provisions for people all over the world, such as a year of school for a Chinese pastor's child, tuberculosis medicine for a patient in North Korea or animals for a family in Cambodia.
But Kay wanted to find out for herself what happened when the families actually received the gifts purchased. So, working with Partners International, she set out on an eye-opening expedition around the world. What she found was financial integrity, fulfilled promises and radically changed lives.
Through these pages you can travel with her on her journey. See the delight of families, and enter the stories of hope in the midst of struggle. Kay offers here an invitation to discover the power and joy of giving that changes lives--yours, and the lives of people all over the world.