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Meeting short-term needs leads to long-term changes

By Albert Reyes
President and CEO of Buckner International

Small things make a big difference. A brand new pair of shoes on a Peruvian orphan’s feet; a new school uniform for a third grader in Longview, Texas; a pair of eyeglasses for a mother in Kenya.

Sometimes the issues in our world can seem daunting and hard to tackle – let alone change – for just one person. In the face of poverty, violence, crime and abuse, how on earth can we make a difference? I don’t know about you, but I often feel burdened knowing just how small I really am.

But here’s the wonderful thing about Buckner humanitarian aid ministries: they connect a lot of “small“ people – our generous donors – for a big impact.

Think about it. You donate one pair of shoes, but so does every family in your church congregation and suddenly, an entire orphanage has something they’ve never had before – new shoes. They can do things they were never able to do, such as go to school. Their risk of disease and injury is decreased immensely.

Or you give a couple dollars to the Buckner Global Health Fund instead of going out to dinner this weekend. Suddenly, adults have glasses and can see for the first time. They can read to their children or better yet, learn to read themselves.

Together, we meet short-term, immediate needs – a bag of groceries, an electric bill paid, a new work uniform. But we also help heal thousands of people through our health services initiatives, which changes individuals, families and eventually, whole communities.

You’ve heard it over and over – give to the poor, the less fortunate, the least of these. And when you imagine the face and the story of the little girl or boy who is the recipient of that gift, it is pure joy, not only in our hearts, but our Father’s heart as well.

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