One Million Dollars

If I had one million dollars to use in the fight against poverty, I’d . . .

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  1. John Cooper February 14, 2010

    If I had 10 million dollars, I would start by giving a good part of it to the Shriners Hospitals of North America, for their hospitals. Then a good chunk to my Methodist Church for their new addition, and some to the Red Cross for their needs. And set up college funds for my grandkids.
    Then some more to my Masonic Lodge, and the New York Masonic Grand Lodge Home in Utica, NY..
    And keep some for my wife and I, as we are in our seventies, and would like to live easier than counting pennies for whatever we that was not medical or for food.
    What ever I did not give away, wlould be invested thru my investment counsler, for the future of my family. And some to the Shrine Clowns in Syracuse, N.Y. too. And don’t forget, the new “East Wood Skate Park” which is raising funds to build a new skate park in Eastwood.

  2. Mike Stephens March 29, 2009

    I should have been more biblical with my answer so I will submit another one!!! Along the lines of the servant who multiplied the money his master gave him I would hope to multiply the million dollars. I heard a pastor at a church gave bunch of people $50 I believe to use it to make more so they could use the money for good. If remeber currectly a girl bought a bunch of supplies and made bracelets and sold them and made maybe 3 times as much!!! It might have been $25. I just thought of something completely new than before!!! I read how families could buy a cow and sell the milk or start a small business etc. or if they could drill a bunch of water wells so they didn’t have to purchase water!!! I am convinced that the best way to utilize that million in the fight against poverty is to give it all to the poor to give them a boost so they can either start earning more money than what they have or just to give them some relief in their current situation!!!

  3. Mike Stephens March 14, 2009

    start Compassion on the islands of Basilan, Jolo, Tawi-Tawi, and all the other little islands down there in the Philippines where Compassion has not reached yet…

  4. Amy March 14, 2009

    Oh wow, where would I even begin?

    I would sponsor a couple more children, and a couple LDP students. I would split the rest between the Where Most Needed Fund, and the Unsponsored Children Fund.

  5. スカルプD September 30, 2008

    Kids are beautiful.

  6. Kees Boer September 24, 2008

    I would first try to figure out what the Social Security Tax on that would be. The reason, being is that the even though gifts are tax deductable, they are deductable after the Social Security Tax is taken out. But at the same time, there is a cap on Social Security Taxes too. I’d have to figure those out. Let’s say, I had to pay $85,000 in Social Security taxes. Then I have $915,000 left over.

    Now, I would try to figure out, how I could invest it, so that it would support my minimum living standard and one trip/year to visit the children. Let’s say that for illustration that it would be about $2,500 to visit the children and $27,500 for me to live on. So, now let’s say that I could invest $415,000 to get an annual return of $30,000, which would pay for the visit and my costs.

    So, then I have $500,000 left over. So, now I would invest them in continual sponsorships at $7,500/per child, which would 60 children, that I could continually sponsor. That would cost $450,000. Then I would use the $50,000 left over to invest that too, for needs such as birthday gifts and any special things that might come up.

    Then I would consider it my full-time job to write these children at least 2 times a month and pray for each of them daily by specific needs. The rest of the time, I would want to devote to reaching people locally in the area.

    I don’t know how it works with Compasssion as far as if I were to die with these continual sponsorships, but I would want the record to say that if I were to die, that correspondents would be found for all of the children.

    Outside of that, I think it would be a blast to call Compassion and to sponsor every single child of a specific country on the website. I’m really curious what the website would do, if there were no children from a specific country. I.e. what error message it would give! LOL!

    Anyone wants to give me $1,000,000, so that we can find out? LOL!



  7. Jill September 22, 2008

    @ Steve K.

    I am a Compassion employee. I work on the Writing and Visits team in our Sponsor Donor Services area.

    Compassion combines all Christmas donations into a fund so that every child receives a Christmas present, whether they are sponsored or not. Child development center staff purchase gifts of equal value for each child in our program so that no child is left out and so that some children are not receiving more presents than others. The recommended amount is $18 because that is the approximate amount that will be purchased per child. Children who are sponsored, are told that the gift is from their sponsor.

  8. Carolyn F September 22, 2008

    Great posts! I would love to do maybe 6-10 perpetual sponsorships (including the child I already sponsor), invest in a couple of LDP sponsorships (I’m thinking about how much letter writing I could handle), and then put the rest to the “where most needed” fund with Compassion.

  9. Sara B. September 22, 2008


    If you would like to do something for your child above the $18 donation, you could always send a child gift as well (similar to a birthday gift) and try and time it to arrive at Christmas time.
    I know the desire to give my children an amazing Christmas, but understand that normally, in addition to the gift from the sponsor, the project has a Christmas party for the children and sometimes the whole family. Try writing your child and asking how he or she celebrated Christmas. You might be surprised to hear all that you sponsorship provides.

  10. Steve September 22, 2008

    I’d give a healthy portion to Compassion, since they are fighting poverty IN GOD’s NAME (unlike welfare programs) and they know immensely better than me how to convert dollars to smiles and hearts to Christ.

    I think the decision to put the money in the bank would be best left to the Compassion folks, not me. I have a hard time justifying earning interest for the future while kids are starving RIGHT NOW.

    Perhaps I’d use some money to lobby Western governments to cut government programs and massively reduce taxes… thereby increasing the pool of money folks have to give to people like Compassion.

  11. Vicki Small September 22, 2008

    Steve, to supplement Ken’s answer (which was correct), Compassion used to suggest amounts for Christmas gifts between $10 and $25. The $18 is roughly in the middle.

    I don’t know why they decided on the single figure, rather than the range, and I have no information as to how well that’s been working.

    My own initial reaction was a little bit negative, too, but when I realized that some sponsored children never receive letters or gifts from their sponsors (not to mention those who are not yet sponsored), it seemed right to pool the money for that one event. Birthday and family gifts are never pooled.

  12. Ken M. September 22, 2008


    My understanding for the pooling of the money is because many kids registered with Compassion don’t have a sponsor. Then many kids who do have sponsors may not receive any extra gift from their sponsor.

    If a child doesn’t receive anything for Christmas he/she could feel crushed and greatly disappointed. Since Christmas is a time for joy, one way to spread joy is by pooling the money together so everyone is blessed. This way no child in a project is left empty handed and doesn’t have the feeling that no one cares.

  13. Abbie H September 21, 2008

    be praying big time!

    I’m not a good numbers person nor do I feel that I have the knowledge to allocate it to the best possible areas.

    It’s just a given that I would give it to Compassion to do what is necessary.

    One thing I do feel confident about is that I trust God and Compassion and know that God would help Compassion place the money where it will benefit the most. After all it is God’s money-not mine.

  14. Steve K. September 21, 2008

    I didn’t know a specific person to send this question to, so I thought I’d post it here … Can someone describe the Christmas giving program with Compassion? I just read the deadline for giving to sponsored children is October 31 and the suggested donation is $18. I also read the money is pooled together with other donations to spread the gifts around to others in the program. Why is $18 the amount – seems like an odd number? I would normally want to give more. I have an initial negative reaction to the money being “pooled” together too. I’m partial to wanting to make my sponsored child’s Christmas as good as I can make it.

  15. Sara Benson September 21, 2008

    I have thought of this before but never reached a conclusion. There are so many different ways to use the money.

    For example, 1,000,000 could…
    …Sponsor 69 LDP students for 4 years each.
    …260 children sponsored age from age 10 through high school.

    I agree with previous posts that putting money in the bank to earn interest would be a good idea and I would look for ways to make significant impact in a specific area.

    I would sponsor kids from one specific country and help people who want to be sponsors but cannot financially. But I would also look for other ways to invest in the future of families. For example there was a blog post of a cycle driver from Bangladesh. By the blog community helping him get a cycle van of his own, he will be able to almost double the amount of money that he brings home to his family.

  16. Brittany September 21, 2008

    Steve K. – Dave Ramsey, you betcha! His audio book is in my van right now! 🙂

  17. Amy Brooke September 20, 2008

    I’m not totally sure. I think I would sponsor a number of children but not so many that I couldn’t write them and get to know them. I would go on a donor trip.

    I think I would find a way to aid teaching women and men, families, skills and giving them “loans”to set up a shop or whatever.

    I would invest in the Child Survival program.

    I would like to try to have some of the money invested so that it keeps giving to these programs.

    I don’t know if that all makes sense or not!

  18. lydia September 20, 2008

    let’s see, first I would sponsor several more children and then sponsor some children that I would find other people to take care of. Then I would go visit all my children. Then I would use the rest for the where most needed fund. I also like Lisa’s idea of finding others to match the donation.

  19. Michael Patterson September 20, 2008

    Great answers. I certainly wouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel. I currently trust Compassion with what I can afford to give, and would certainly give through Compassion. I love Compassion Dave’s way of thinking!

  20. Lisa Miles September 20, 2008

    First I would find donors — individuals and corporations — to match my donation, with the goal of raising an extra $1 million.

    With that $2 million:

    $500,000 to Compassion’s Child Survival Program;
    $500,000 to Compassion’s Leadership Development Program;
    $500,000 to build libraries;
    $500,000 to build children’s museums.

  21. Vicki Small September 20, 2008

    I would designate one-half of it to the GFCF, one-quarter to the Malaria Intervention Fund, and the remainder to Where Most Needed. Compassion’s leaders have more knowledge than I to know where they need it, at any given time. I’m guessing that, right now, the GFC and Disaster Relief funds are critical, but then, which ones aren’t?

  22. Keri September 20, 2008

    WOW – a million bucks… that’s 100 perpetual sponsorships and 15 LDP students… OR feeding 75,000 children for a month (and ONLY a month!)… now which of the 950,000 don’t we feed… not to mention the other two-billion children in the world that need our help… Gosh, a million dollars doesn’t go quite as far as it used to…

  23. Juli Jarvis September 20, 2008

    I like CD’s answer. He even did the math for me and the planning for me!

  24. Steve K. September 20, 2008

    Brittany ~ You sound like you’ve been reading Dave Ramsey! Very cool! I think I want to change my answer to be like yours. I also think it needs to have a mentality of “teach them how to fish” not just give them a fish.

  25. compassion dave September 20, 2008

    I would put the money in the bank and then sponsor 200 children (for 12 years). The bank interest could then pay for 10 LDP students. I would then give these sponsorships to people who cannot afford to sponsor a child, but only if they agree to host a Compassion Sunday at their church and in order to find more sponsors.

  26. Brittany September 20, 2008

    …agree with Steve K. I’d focus on one area. I think I’d focus on the area with the least amount of poverty and then move onto the next area with the least amount of poverty. (Like paying off debt…”they” say to pay off the credit card with the least amount of debt and then move onto the next one that has the least and so on…) I think in this way once an area is on their feet, they can use their resources to not only help their area, but other areas as well.

  27. Laurel September 20, 2008

    In order to make a difference I am like Steve I would select one location, build up the local churches, provide new resources to help families get the skills they need; help them and teach them how to provide for their family. I would not just give it to them, but develop the resources they need to be successful and God loving people.

  28. Steve K. September 20, 2008

    focus on one specific location, and plant lots of seeds that would turn into a fruitful vine! I’m partial to concentrating in one area versus scattering it and diluting possibilities.

  29. Ceri September 20, 2008

    Well – it would go to Compassion…but I’m not sure how I’d split the money between sponsoring more children, giving family gifts, project gifts, sponsoring an LDP student, giving to the Child Survival Programme, the Complimentary Interventions Programme, or the Global Food Crisis Fund. I totally trust Compassion with money, so maybe I’d just put it into the most needed fund….though I’d probably use some of it to sponsor a child from Togo!

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