Direct Service

Starting A Community Service Project: Step One

  What really defines a community service project is the burning desire to bring about social change.  Start locally.  Do something to address a specific problem in your surrounding community, whether it’s your school, work or residential neighborhood.  Something needs to change!  It can be overwhelming:  The list of possible issues to address—hunger, joblessness, crime, […]

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Before Serving Others, Raise Your Awareness

  “I hate it when volunteers come down here,” a neighbor told Robert Lupton, author of the book, Toxic Charity.   Virgil, who lived in an economically challenged neighborhood of Atlanta, had just observed a fourteen-passenger van filled with young volunteers on a mission trip.  This church group been coming every weekend for two months and […]

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When Helping Hurts: How to Avoid Toxic Charity

  Seeking to serve the poor, do we ever hurt them instead? Sometimes when we provide assistance to someone, we end up insulting them, confusing them or hurting them, often quite unintentionally. There is a favorite expression in my family whenever this happens: “The helping hand strikes again.” It’s a special danger when you occupy […]

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