I can't recommend highly enough the Sunday, August 23rd magazine section of the New York Times, which focuses on the plight of women world-wide. The individual stories of deprivation and powerlessness are so compelling. But the article makes clear, as well, that there are things we as fellow humans--(in my case, fellow woman)--can do to help. This morning I went to the website of WOMEN FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL (there are many other such organizations as well) and arranged to sponsor a woman in Afghanistan, to provide education, vocational training, emotional support. This will cost me $37 a month.
I've always sent donations to organizations whose causes I believed in. But there is something about one-to-one ---knowing who a person is, knowing you are making a difference to that person, and the awareness that that person in need knows you care---that appeals to me.
Two days ago I bought a pair of earrings for $70 from a local goldsmith. I didn't need earrings. But I wanted to support a Maine artisan. And I suppose I still feel that way, and am not going to throw my earrings (which I am currently wearing) away.
But I feel much better about sending support each month to a woman who has so meager a future without help.