Transforming Your Life by Giving Something Back
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A loving, courageous call to arms from Share Our Strength founder and executive director Shore. Shore’s book is hardly a standard nonprofit policy wonk’s approach to hunger and poverty. It’s full of surprises, not the least of which is that he believes that the days of the nonprofit charity organization are essentially over. In this era of unprecedented wealth, people are actually donating less to charity, and recent government cuts in welfare and food stamps bode ill for the hungry people of America. What is needed is nothing less than a paradigm shift, says Shore—an entirely new approach to social justice. The author proposes that nonprofits enter into sustained, profitable partnerships with corporations, ending the frustrating annual hand-to-mouth quest of nonprofit fundraising through long-term licensing agreements, marketing arrangements, and profit-sharing. (An example of this would be many public radio stations’ partnerships with Store-of-Knowledge novelty shops or American Express’s well-publicized “Charge for Hunger” alliance with SOS.) Shore, of course, provides many inspirational stories of how this is being accomplished across the country. He recounts moments when ordinary people crossed the line from inaction to action and began to make a difference, including an indefatigable Denver chef and a pots-and-pans salesman in Ohio who strive to involve their businesses with the fight to end hunger. In other cities, community action groups such as CityYear, the Chicago Children’s Choir, and Seattle’s unconventional Pioneer Human Services are putting community-wealth building into action, with impressive results. Shore is firmly committed to his views but never preachy; one of the most touching “Everyman” elements of the book is how he grounds SOS’s goal of saving children with raising his own two kids, Zach and Mollie. He realizes that “writing about children in the abstract has its dangers” and extends this to a greater dedication to resist objectifying or distancing America’s poor. Positively invigorating. Essential for community activists and business leaders alike. (Author tour)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-679-45706-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1999