"Give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish feed him for life" A cliche that should echo more and more with the choices we make to fix starvation. I do not see long run benefit to donating to charities to feed children unless those charities teach the citizens of those areas how to use their land to create food for themselves. Basically, I would rather donate money to a cause that would work toward remedying the problem forever, not remedy the problem til next month.
That's fine, and is Adam's choice. But my point is this: donate now. Too many people are waiting until they believe they are economically comfortable enough to do something. This, to me, seems like a psychological cop-out. "I want to do something, I really do...just not today."
It's similar to "I'll quit smoking tomorrow." or "I'll go on a diet tomorrow," or government's favorite "We'll tighten the emission standards for vehicles...in 2020." People make long-term promises too often because they know that they'll never be forced to uphold them.
People are starving now, people need an education now, oppressed peoples need the global community to act on their behalf now. Charity given when convenient is not charity. Charity must be given at any opportunity.
Going back to Adam's comment, we are shown the pure genius of Jesus in the parable of the Good Samaritan. Did the Samaritan see the long-term benefit in clothing the beaten man laying on the side of the road? Did he think about the idea that if he kept his two silver coins, he could later invest them in a school for people who might later go into law enforcement and stop highway robbers from doing to others what was done to the robbed man? No. The Samaritan made a single, instantaneous act of charity without thought on the personal value of that act. We who consider ourselves Christians too often forget that the point of Christianity is to follow the teachings of Jesus. Not to be adjudicators of what is and isn't good, effective charity.
Clearly, the Parable of the Good Samaritan strikes the critical thinker as a dumb way for a Samaritan to throw his money away, waste some good clothes, and not behave the way a Samaritan should. But the point Jesus makes is that charity must be given when the opportunity presents itself, not when it is convenient and valuable to the donater.
But I do not mock Adam's decision to invest in education of the under-privileged. But I challenge Adam, and people who believe as he does, to do so now, instead of later when you think you will be better able to afford it.