Back in 2002 or 2003, I came across this website and thought it was a fantastic idea. I am so excited to hear that they have been featured in Forbes Magazine, and that article was syndicated to the homepage of AOL. This is what the website is about.
Keith Taylor is the Founder and CEO. Back when he was in graduate school, he worked at a theater and had two teaching jobs at two different colleges. One month he had to skip paying rent because he had some unexpected car repairs. His boss at the theater heard about what happened and handed him a $525 check made out to the landlord. Keith remembered this act of kindness and when he was a teacher at a Tennessee University, he decided to start a little web site offering people help with small bills. His salary at the time was only $33,000. He had some television interviews and received some publicity for what he was doing. He just wanted to help people. But in 2002, his hobby became something bigger. He allowed other people to donate money to help with people’s needs. He was connecting people with needs with people who wanted to help. Back then you couldn’t get help with rent. It was for the unexpected expenses that may come up within a month. I recently visited the site and saw that things are different. You can now get a Self-Sufficiency Grant for one months rent, or other needs that you have. Modest Needs is a short-term fix. It’s for people who are self-sufficient, but need help to stay that way. All applications are screened, the ones that are not cut are then asked to provide up to 15 documents to verify their situations and identities. If approved for funding, checks are not made out to the individual, but to the landlord, or utility company. Modest Needs reports that seven out of every ten recipients log back into the site as donors. It’s a great way to help people in need, or get help when you are in need.
Once the article was featured on AOL, within about 10 hours, people across the US and around the world funded more than $22,000 worth of requests. This was funded by one-time donations of $10, $20, $30, or $50. It’s nice to know that there are people out there who are able to help and actually want to. As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of money from one individual. Just a note for those who want to donate, Modest Needs raises operating funds from outside resources, so your donations go to fund the needs.
They have Back-to-Work Grants, Independent Living Grants, and Non-Profit Grants. If you want to learn more, click on the link at the right in my Helpful Links, or the banner at the top of this article.