Letters to the Editor: Microloans can prevent homelessness. Government leaders, are you listening?
I was delighted when The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that the City of Richmond Heights is now accepting applications for its very first microloan program.
The programs will be run by the non-profit, Friends of the Library.
City officials said the need is great, but they want to hear the stories of the people who will be helped, as well as information about how the program works.
I was also pleased that the Chronicle also included the fact that the program will be fully tax deductible to qualified donors.
So, after reading the Chronicle, my own tax return comes to mind this month.
I’m not rich. But I did work in the media for 35 years after college and have written two books (One is a biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other is a novel).
When I started, I thought it would be a long road to go from “journalist,” to writer of books, to a non-fiction author.
I have always wanted to do something to help others. Now, I think the way to do it is to be generous for a while.
And that is exactly what I intend to do.
This is my first year giving to charity and I am not very good at it. But I would be lying if I said I don’t care about this community and want to make it a better place for all.
I just do not think this is the time for micro-loans. I think it should be bigger. More generous.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy said that in 2013, $20 billion of the $24 billion spent on charitable programs went to micro-loans.
That is not enough to wipe out poverty in America.
I know many people who can’t find a job because they have no skill. I know people who can’t find a place to live because they have no money. I know people who live without electricity, water and heat in very cold climates.
These people are not looking to my neighborhood for help. They don’t take out loans to buy homes. They take from other people and that is fine with me.