The circumstances and needs of others can be overwhelming, both for them and for those of us who would like to come along side and lend a hand. But it doesn't have to be that way. At least I don't think it does.
If, for example, you step in and support me and my family, that helps. But I don't think I would want my family to be dependent on you long term. What we could really use is some help to step up so we can handle things for ourselves.
If you lend a hand so that my family or my community makes progress, well that can be a real blessing. One time donations are wonderful, especially in response to crisis events, but if you can, commit for the long haul, like a decade. Or two. Getting a couple kids all the way through school would be a big deal for the family.
Doing it well takes skill, insight, and long-term investment of time and attention to the details. World Vision does that. They lead with child-sponsorship, but it's really community investment that they do; and they do it well.
TechnoServe has been doing community development in an impressively thoughtful fashion for four decades.
TexasEx.Org is our non-profit organization; we work with some small organizations and directly in communities in Africa and elsewhere. We do micro-this and that. Finance, meds, tutoring, home repair, business equipping, scholarships, school renovations. Five years in the work, so far. Feel free to join in.