Great Sadness

This posting is a little different, but my friends would not expect anything different from me, would they?  This posting is more of a cautionary warning to my friends and associates.

During this holiday season, as with all holiday seasons, there is an increased push by charities to solicit your help.  To be sure, the world has many needs, and there are truly those who are in meager situations who could use our help.  Not just in this holiday season, but at other times, too.

But, here’s the problem —

While the needs are real, there is more than a small share of corruption and mixed agenda on the part of some fund raisers who would solicit your help.  They post pictures, videos, stories, in an effort to engage you on an emotional level so that you will give.

Now let’s be perfectly clear here.  I’m not disparaging all charitable giving, or targeting any specific group or person.  What I am saying is that it is difficult for the casual observer to know exactly what his or her gift is going towards, or to know that it is being used for the intended purpose.

So, you basically have a few options:

  1. Just go ahead and give, at least your conscience will feel better knowing you have done what you could.
  2. Thoroughly and completely check out the organization and ensure you know what your money is going for.
  3. Give to those organizations where you have a clear understanding of what your money is being used for.

Personally, I tend to prefer #3, even though it tends to not be the high profile institutions.  I certainly don’t like #1, and I seldom have the time for #2.

So, as my title suggests, it is with great sadness I confess that some charitable giving has become a high profit business that focuses on gaining as much money and attention as the holiday spirit will allow.  This is sad as there are truly real needs in the world today that are not being met.

So, my friends, beware, be smart, be discerning, be discriminant, and be careful.  Money is a precious commodity, and not to be squandered.  We are encouraged to give, but to give in a way that creates maximum impact.

As a closing thought I give you Bill and Melinda Gates.  Yes, that Bill Gates, the one who co-founded Microsoft and is reportedly one of the richest humans on the planet.  They have created a foundation to help with some of the world’s problems.  With that kind of money one would think they could solve many of the world’s problems, but they were smarter than that.  Somewhere along the process of researching they discovered that throwing money at a problem was not the way to solve it, and secondly, there is not enough money in all the world to solve problems that way.  So, they focused their giving into a few areas:  1) providing vaccines to children in 3rd world countries where the mortality rate from common curable diseases was rampant and unchecked, 2) working to provide clean drinking water in countries where clean water is a rarity.  In short, they apparently wanted to see that their money went to worthwhile efforts, and was not merely thrown to the wind in an effort to ease their conscience.

So, my friends, I challenge you this season to help others, but do so in a way where you know what your effort is accomplishing, and to be careful with your limited resources.

One Response to “Great Sadness”

  1. Bea McGuire Says:

    Excellent blog and one we need to be reminded of. Pastor and I just had a conversation yesterday on giving to the needy. You said it all here! Blessings…..

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