A real need or a con?

Anywhere we go today in the modern world there will be beggars and charity collectors many who also knock on your door asking for money or support. Online there is a large amount of advertising trying to persuade you to give money to one charity or another and one must acknowledge that charity has become an industry.

Within democratic socialist societies, the nature or structure of that society is such that anyone without paid employment has no means of sustenance and therefore dependent on handouts. The state has tried to keep these people out of sight and out of mind and even today cities legislate to exclude the dispossessed. Should they transgress they could end up becoming slave labourers in some prison as is happening increasingly in the USA.

It's an individual choice whether or not you give to the people in need on the street. It's an individual choice whether you give assistance to those knocking on your door. There was a time when the householder was obliged to provide a meal for an individual in need, but in today's fragmented and drug induced climate, there is a good chance that taking someone under your roof will see you being raped, robbed or even killed.

We live in an age where its not always safe to open your door because there are so many seeking to take advantage. But dealing with individuals in need is very different from dealing with charities who operate with volunteer collectors but professional and highly paid coordinators within even more highly paid administrative structure.

There are some charities with a multi-million dollar cash flow who give as little as 4% to those who need it, the rest goes into salaries and vague business-related expenses. I'm not about to name these charity companies, it's easy enough to do some research and no matter how much the salesperson/collector pleads their case, you need to know what you are giving to.

Some of the U.S.-based charities with the worst reputations are the kids wish network, the Cancer fund of America, the American breast Cancer foundation, the breast Cancer relief foundation and the children's Cancer fund of America who all collect monies on behalf the people they claim to represent but they reportedly pay out less than 10% of all they collect.

Do you want to pay some fatcats salary or do you want to see your dollars doing some good? If you really want to do good, you have to wake-up and do your research. You can directly ask collectors how much money actually goes to the cause although what they say is not always correct but is easy to do this work online and I'm sure a collector wouldn't mind waiting while you did some research.

However the best way to be charitable is to support local charities, most international food aid is funded through the United Nations and there is always a risk that you may be furthering someone's nest when you give to disaster relief organisations as my local community were when we donated to the Tacloban hurricane relief.

Generosity is healthy and when you give locally, you have some right to call people to account if the job is not being done. Some of the world's best charity organisations exist within the Hindu and Sikh communities. At the Golden Temple in Amritsar the feed in excess of 100,000 people on a daily basis.


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