Are We Really Helping?
by Randy Chestnut
I was first introduced to the book “Toxic Charity” about 6-7 years ago. I read it after reading “When Helping Hurts”. If you have never read them, I highly recommend them.

Why would I do so now?

It appears that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic. The strategies that we used to serve our neighbors in 2020 and early 2021 need to shift. If we are not careful, we will be hurting folks, not helping them.
At the end of 2021, 10.9 million jobs were available in the United States. While the majority of these were in the hospitality and food service sectors, millions of jobs were not. We are now in what is being called “The Great Resignation” or “The Great Renegotiation”. I personally support a worker’s right to negotiate a higher wage.
I have personally talked to HR managers of companies who have offer good-paying jobs, with benefits, opportunities for advancement, and financial assistance (sometimes with no cost to the employee) for education. Yet, these employers also are having trouble finding workers.

What are they saying?

“The applicants can’t pass a drug test”
“The applicant can’t read at the 8th Grade Level”
“Many people we hire do not show up on time and are chronically absent from work”
“They can’t get along with others”
These are all issues that can be overcome. The Church and faith-based non-profits have a great opportunity to engage in this next phase of poverty alleviation… REHABILITATION & DEVELOPMENT. It won’t be easy. It will take some time. It will be messy. Frankly, this is why most churches DON’T want to engage at this level. It is much easier and ‘cleaner’ to just keep giving stuff away.

But is that the best?