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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: November 26, 2016.

During the holidays, hearts are opened more than other times of the year. We feel a pull to help those in need, especially when we’re reflecting on what and who we have in our lives. We count our blessings and we realize that others may have a shorter list. We want to help. But there’s sometimes a fine line between helping and hurting.

In a new Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE) booklet, Love Your Neighbor: Restoring Dignity, Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Kathryn Feliciano equips small groups, churches, and students with practical steps and sound biblical and economic principles for more effectively serving the poor.

Feliciano said she wrote the booklet to help Christians who are wrestling with how to help the poor without doing more harm than good. “We are compelled by compassion, but are often unsure if we are helping at all,” she writes in Love Your Neighbor. “We donate to charities and volunteer for organizations devoted to alleviating poverty, but is our time and money actually helping or hurting the poor?”

According to Feliciano, there is a growing consensus in poverty relief literature that it is time to re-evaluate how we help the poor. Her booklet builds upon that conversation by highlighting organizations that are doing a good job and providing practical steps to assess and address the needs in communities.

Feliciano also writes that poverty is more than just a financial issue as individuals are made in God’s image, with social, emotional, and spiritual needs. Poverty relief efforts should also recognize that each person is equipped with God-given gifts and talents. With a background in economics, Feliciano shares how economic principles can lead to more sustainable change and true flourishing.


The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics (IFWE) is a Christian organization committed to advancing biblical and economic principles that help individuals find fulfillment in their work and contribute to a free and flourishing society.

This article was republished with permission by Christian Newswire. Please visit their site for more information. 

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