Many people are living paycheck to paycheck, scheduling bill payments and trips to the grocery store around their next payday and having a constant fear that something, anything, could happen to cause an imbalance in your monthly income and expenses. A layoff, large medical bill, car repair, or broken appliance could be all that stands in the way of paying the bills for a month (or longer). Today’s organization is trying to help those hard-working individuals and families with their needs.
University professor Dr. Keith P. Taylor wanted to help two, three, or maybe four people by sharing 10% of his own salary each month. He quickly realized that his mission could be bigger than just one person. More people could be helped and more people could contribute. In 2002, Modest Needs and the technology behind it was born.
Modest Needs is a non-profit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of low-income workers by making grants that help them to afford short-term, emergency expenses. The organization recognizes a gap in the social “safety net” that leaves low-income but generally self-sufficient individuals and families without access to small amounts of short-term assistance. Instead, the typical social safety nets offer long-term assistance after an individual or family has fallen deep into the cycle of poverty.
Modest Needs uses grants to fill this need. The grants are meant to help prevent an individual or family from entering the cycle of poverty, restore self-sufficiency of those who are willing to work but temporarily unemployed, or empower permanently disadvantaged individuals who have been hit with a temporary, unexpected financial setback related to their medical conditions. In addition, grants are made to strengthen small non-profit organizations by providing a tool to ask the general public for the help they need to complete small projects to allow them to better serve their clients and communities.
Since 2002, Modest Needs’ donors have stopped the cycle of poverty for 10,620 hard-working individuals and families throughout the United States and Canada that conventional philanthropy otherwise had forgotten. Each request for a grant is made by the individual and reviewed through a rigorous screening process by Modest Needs to determine their eligibility and legitimacy of their request. Then it is made public on the Modest Needs website to allow any donor to fund that a portion or the entire request. Once the grant is funded, the money is given toward the specific emergency expense. You can read the stories of some of the recipients on the organization’s website.
How can you help?
- Take a look at the list of current requests for help. Even giving small amounts such as $5, $10 or $25 toward a specific request will make a difference. Contributions quickly add up to the total of the grant request.
- You can also spread the word about the program by sharing their brochure or directing people to this blog post. The more donors there are; the more of a difference they can make.
- Consider giving a Modest Needs gift certificate for a gift.
- You can also make a donation to the Modest Needs general fund by clicking on the Donate button on their website.