Giva Salutes: MEND Poverty

Mend Poverty

At Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here.

MEND Poverty, a nonprofit dedicated to serving the homeless population of San Fernando Valley, California, promises to "Meet Each Need with Dignity." Founded in the 1970s, this organization provides emergency food, clothing, healthcare, and job training skills–all for no cost.

Their extensive Food Bank program includes over thirty outreach sites that provide boxes packed with three days' worth of nutritional meals. MEND also offers English-learning classes and a multitude of youth programs. One such program, their Head to Toes Event, provides more than 200 third graders with free dental screenings, vision screenings, new backpacks with school supplies and new shoes.

This nonprofit is powered almost entirely by volunteers motivated to empower those they serve. Impressive numbers reveal that overhead administration costs are less than 6%, even though they are entirely privately funded. Over 15,000 hours of service are contributed each month by more than 5,000 hard-working volunteers; only thirty-one paid workers are employed by MEND Poverty.

The facility's numbers indicate that between 39,000-49,000 people suffering in poverty (people who makes less than $10,000 per year and half of whom suffer from a diet-related illness) access MEND Poverty's services each month. MEND Poverty demonstrates its profound commitment to those who need care and does so while building their clients' self-esteem and confidence.

Nonprofits like MEND Poverty are also making a huge difference in the broader global community. In his TED talk titled The Good News on Poverty (Yes, There's Good News), philanthropist and the nonprofit founder of ONE, Bono supports the good work of nonprofits and national leadership in eradicating poverty from the world.

This self-proclaimed "geeky" activist revels in statistics when he says, "By 2020, global poverty should be at 0%." Poverty, defined by Bono to be those living on less than $1.25 per day, was once over 43% in 1990. Thanks to countries who care more about their people, communities who answer calls for help, volunteers who dedicate countless hours for nonprofits like MEND, and the leaders in charge, the dream of a healthy home for all may someday soon be realized. This dream begins with the humble and good-hearted aspirations of communities such as MEND Poverty.