Work Leads to Independence, Economic Prosperity, and Liberty
by Beth Zinn, Program Director, True Charity Community Initiative
According to a 2017 article in the Harvard Business Review which reported on a study regarding the relationship between work and happiness, unemployment is “destructive to people’s well-being.” And what is more, often those who are unemployed rely on the generosity and compassion of others (or on government welfare programs) to subsist. Therefore, it follows that unemployment stands in the way of independence. Statistics show that the primary path out of poverty is employment, not dependency on assistance, governmental or otherwise. According to 2019 Census Bureau data, 95.3% of working adults lived above the poverty line while only 4.7% of working adults lived in poverty and only 2.0% of full-time working adults lived in poverty.
At The ELM Foundation, we believe that work is fundamental to human dignity and freedom. We believe every person is created in the image of God and has something to give the world. Therefore, our charity model focuses on helping our participants achieve self-sufficiency and independence through education, job skills training, and employability. We are truly practicing what we preach: handouts do create dependency, so we help create pathways to employment for our participants. We hope you will join us as we champion a more compassionate and effective model of charity: charity that is voluntarily-sourced, effort-based, and outcome-driven - charity that leads to flourishing and freedom for those we serve.In his 1935 State of the Union message, Franklin D. Roosevelt stated “continued dependence on relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is a violation of the traditions of America.” As our country pauses this month to celebrate our collective independence from political tyranny and our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, let us not forget the role that work serves in our communities: it allows us the opportunity to be the determiners of our own destiny, and it leads to individual and family independence, economic prosperity, and liberty.