This unlikely army of compassion includes reformed crackheads and con men, soccer moms, grade school dropouts and PhDs, former prostitutes and business executives, preachers and ex-gang bangers. Regardless of whether they are black, white, Latino or Asian, Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal or Presbyterian, street saints are discovering their convictions transcend their denominational, racial, and political boundaries. What they all share is a commitment to renew the soul of our nation.?
Not everyone is called to walk the streets and physically hand out food to the hungry. But we are all called to help in some way. For many who have enjoyed success in business, the calling is to give of your funds to support those who are ?in the trenches?. Barbara recognizes that supporting the work of others is an invaluable calling, and she has written a second book to help donors through the process of deciding exactly where to send those funds. Her book, ?Equipping the Saints: A Guide to Giving to Faith-Based Organizations? explains the characteristics of groups that spend money wisely and reports on programs that are working, clearly states the methods used for evaluating the outcomes, and provides contact information for faith-based organizations around the country.
Polling information from the recent presidential election reveals that the issue most commonly given for voting this year was a concern for values. Although I have written about the role that values played in selecting one candidate over another, I also believe that there are plenty of people in both parties who have deeply held religious values and beliefs that cause them to make personal sacrifices in order to better the lives of those in need. Selfless ?saints? are everywhere.
As folks throughout the political spectrum look for ways to further unite our nation, perhaps one way that will hasten the process is for each of us to step out and work with those from all walks of life to make a difference in our communities. Yes, one way to positively affect the lives of those in need is to ensure that public policy reflects the most efficient means to do so . But by reaching out on our own ? whether it?s by donating to a local soup kitchen, volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, or writing a check to a local charity ? Americans of all political persuasions can quickly provide real, tangible, effective help to those in need.
If you?re a little down on life, reading Street Saints will renew your faith in the American people. If you?re feeling sorry for yourself about your own circumstances, the book will help you understand that in giving of yourself to those whose situations are worse than your own, the one who often benefits most is you.
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