So you have been looking at various online charities of where to donate money. Or, perhaps you would like to donate some of your clothes. Maybe you are even looking to sponsor a family for the month. Yes, it is true that there are countless ways to directly fight poverty. However, there are many alternate and indirect ways to fight poverty as well, some of which can be considered the root of the problem. All of the examples provided above are considered “material” assistance. But poverty actually infiltrates all layers of one’s life, not just materially. Here are three simple ways to help fight poverty and perhaps even stop it without having to provide material support.

Change Your Thoughts About Poverty

Ask anyone who is in decent to good financial standing what they believe poverty means. The first response you are likely to get is “people who cannot afford ‘x, y, and z’.” “Living below the poverty line” is a phrase we hear all too often. While monetary constraints are certainly part of poverty, if you were to ask the people who actually live in poverty what poverty means to them, you will probably hear an entirely different answer. You will hear an answer that contains the words “isolation,” “broken relationships” and “lack of hope.” Thus, we see that poverty isn’t entirely physical. On the contrary – it is very much societal and personal. Why would this be important to know for the average person not living in “monetary” poverty? Because everyone, at some point in their lives, have experienced isolation and lack of hope. Once you break through the outlook of “us and them,” it will enable you to put yourself in their shoes, making it easier to not only understand what they need but to actually help.

Treat With a Sense of Self-Respect

This may seem a bit ambiguous so allow us to explain. Imagine you are dropping off your old clothes and there they are – the people you are trying to help, waiting to receive your clothes. You try not to make eye contact. In fact, you hurriedly drop off the clothes and walk out, with a feeling of awkwardness. And…there’s the problem. Your sub conscious may be telling you that these people believe you feel superior to them, even if that is completely false! Therefore, instead of dropping off your clothes, why not come around and try to sell the clothes for a few cents per piece of clothing. No one wants to feel like a charity case. Almost everyone can afford 5 or 10 cents. The fact that you would actually sell the clothing, even if it’s for a (very) minimal price, can make a huge impact on one’s self esteem. It will quite literally show your respect of the individual in need.

Work, and Work Hard

If you are a salaried employee at almost any company, chances are your company is directly or indirectly supporting families in need in countries across the globe. You work in the marketing department for Apple? You are contributing to a company that employs needy people in Brazil and about a dozen other countries. This is just one example of how your hard work benefits others in need. It may not be obvious, but make no mistake – you will be fighting poverty.