This is an excerpt from the blog:
I'm glad to see Art of Manliness addressing the issue of poverty. So often men see helping others as sissy, but what could be more manly than helping others develop a sense of pride for themselves by being freed from the chains of poverty. I encourage all men to take a stand and find how you can help your neighbors and those around the world. Be sure to check out Blog Action Day to see how others are fighting poverty, and join in the fight.
How to Kick Poverty’s Ass
How can we as men help kick poverty’s ass? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Become a mentor. You don’t need to go halfway across the world to fight poverty. Opportunities exist right in your backyard. Become a mentor to a disadvantaged young person in your community. Young people are stuck in a cycle of poverty. Their parents are poor, and thus often don’t know how to motivate their kids to seek higher education and a better life for themselves. And the kids then follow their parents’ example, have their own kids, and raise them the same way. By becoming someone’s mentor, you can step in and break that cycle. You can provide the guidance and counsel that they may not get at home or from their friends. You can help them develop the skills that will enable them to become self-sufficient. Keep in mind that being a mentor is a long term commitment. Expect to be in it to win it for months or even years. The investment will be well worth it for the person and for you. Check out Big Brothers or your local community center. Or look for a way to volunteer in your area’s schools.
2. Offer a free class to impoverished people. It’s not the politically correct thing to say, but it is oftentimes the lifestyle of impoverished people that keeps them poor. In many cases, they lack basic life skills that we often take for granted. Things like showing up to appointments on time, basic grooming, and interpersonal skills might be lost on them. Most communities and states have agencies that teach people these skills. Many are hurting for teachers. Make a call and volunteer some time.
3. Donate a suit. The other day, I heard on the radio about an organization that collects gently used suits for impoverished men to wear at a job interview. I think that’s a damn good idea. Check out Dress For Success and see how you can donate your old suit to help a fellow man.
4. Join Americorps. Have you recently graduated from college and find yourself drifting, unsure of what you want to do next? Consider joining Americorps. Americorps is one of the best kept secrets in the country. Americorps is like a domestic Peace Corps in which men and women dedicate themselves to a year of full-time service (although there are some part-time opportunities as well). Americorps is an umbrella for thousands of different programs, from those that tutor elementary students to those that work with the elderly. After the very me-centered time of college, Americorps will give you a chance to completely dedicate yourself to improving the lives of other people.
5. Join an international relief organization. If you’re wanting to help battle poverty on an international level, join up with an international relief organization. You’ll have the chance to get on the ground and help people directly. You could be involved with classes that teach water purification, sanitation, and farming. Or you could instruct people on how to run a business. Stuff that will help individuals become self sufficient and on the road to beating poverty. Many churches have international relief programs. If you’re not a church person, check out Peace Corps or UNICEF.
6. Donate to a micro loan. Studies have shown that just giving countries money doesn’t do anything to alleviate poverty. The money gets lost through graft and the inefficiency of bureaucracies. Why not put the money directly in the hands of the people you’re trying to help so they can help themselves? Micro loans do just that. Your $50 or $100 loan can help some man in Africa start their own business. You’ll be giving the help a person needs to become self-sufficient.