As the downturn in the economy began to take its toll in late 2008, the homeless situation in Massachusetts worsened. With good jobs and reasonable rent becoming more wishful thinking than reality, the organization Small Can Be Big stepped in to facilitate much-needed financial support towards the many cash-strapped families of Massachusetts on the verge of homelessness.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s belief in “finding innovative solutions to community problems” inspired the Boathouse Group, Inc., a Massachusetts-based advertising agency, to launch Small Can Be Big in 2009. Deuteronomy 15:10-11 says about the poor, “Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need.” (NLT) Small Can Be Big has found an innovative way to come together as a community and come to the aid of “their land” at a local level.
Small Can Be Big has found an innovative way to come together as a community and come to the aid of “their land” at a local level.
What makes Small Can Be Big different is that a donation can go to a specific family with a specific need. Reputable Massachusetts charities each select a family in dire need of a one-time charitable donation, such as a rent check, a mortgage payment, an electric or water bill, an unexpected hospital fee or other vital expense. Small Can Be Big allows donors in Massachusetts and elsewhere to make direct aid, through the Internet, to the families in need. Each family’s story is shared, with names protected, so donors can know to whom their money is going and for what specific need. The donations can be as small as $1, and 100% of the donations go directly towards the family’s needed expenses. Alongside each family’s description is a chart of the needed expenses and the money raised to date, giving a clear picture of how much is still needed to fill their need. With the families’ stories put in categories such as Fending Off Eviction, Facing Unexpected Emergencies, Keeping The Power On, and Escaping Domestic Violence, donors can choose which need is closest to their hearts. Small Can Be Big says they “harness the power of small, direct donations” and “tax-deductible gifts that go straight to a landlord, utility company or hospital awaiting payment.”
Small Can Be Big hopes to build stronger community throughout Massachusetts by allowing people to come together to make something happen for a neighbor in need in the harsh economic climate and sharing the reality that together, something small can become something big.
For information about the current families in need visit www.smallcanbebig.org –Cailin Henson
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