On-going anxiety about world events like Christchurch, Somalia, the Middle East is draining. Where do you send your charity dollar? Should we be making an effort for abused children or cancer victims here at home or sending relief out into the many worthy world causes? One person on one income, however healthy, can only do so much.
Maybe there are charitable trusts somewhere that can manage our contributions for us, giving sometimes to causes at home and some abroad. But even World Vision has a more specific focus that seems not to deal with domestic disasters. How do you choose?
If only we could be sure that our donated money was not all spent on administration. If only we could trust the so-called charitable trusts, some of which were set up originally as tax minimisation schemes, not truly for the money to go out of the owner’s control.
I will do some research as the whole question of giving back from our own fortunate circumstances worries me. We do our bit, but is it enough? No wonder tithing was started to get the rich to give to the poor. But even tithing couldn’t guarantee the money was spent where it was needed and not on big offices somewhere for administrators’ luxury. Not interested in that.
I recall when I was working in Africa at the time of the Biafran war. There were no antibiotics, no dressings, no pregnancy prevention supplies. You couldn’t explain words “menopause” or “hormones” simply because there were no translation of these words in their local dialect. Food for 5000 people was all donated. A benefactor in New York offered to send a crate of antibiotics by ship to Libreville. We cheered at the news. The ship arrived after a very long couple of weeks and we trouped down to the dock to meet the tender as the port was too shallow for a ship to dock.
We opened the crate and found, to our complete disappointment, that it was full of toothbrushes! Apparently the daughter of the benefactor had married a business tycoon who made toothbrushes and thought they would be safer and cheaper to send!
The one thing African children do NOT need is toothbrushes! I was so enraged that I did not allow the interpreter into the meeting and I raged in broken French to the Red Cross representative. These children had near perfect teeth as they were grown before the famine hit and anyway they had no sugar to rot them and they cleaned their teeth constantly by chewing on sticks!
So my charity dollar has to be considered carefully. I think I can find a few worthy causes but I will keep you posted.
PS I appreciate your thoughts, please leave me a comment as all suggestions are gratefully considered…