Charity Thinking

Sometimes, I find that speaking with others about Charity Organizations needs to be very carefull. Most people I know haven’t done squat to help anyone, but are always there to defend these Organisations. Even though most of them didn’t even contribute with small donations. We need to praise these Organisations because they are doing good, right?

That should be the idea. But is it what really happens in reality? I’m not sure….

I’ll give you my experience, not only with Organizations, but with individuals:

As a teenager I was a part of a group that helped a mother of a kid with a rare disease to sell her paintings to raise money for his regular meds. They weren’t as expensive as you might think, but still too much for someone who didn’t have a lot. She went to the TV saying that she wouldn’t give any meds to her son, until people helped her. The paintings were actually beautiful and they were not hard to sell, so we’ve made a lot of money on about 1 month selling.

The voluntaries were then invited to go to her place and have dinner with her as a sign of appreciation. Actually she was rich but didn’t want to sell her stuff and move to a house that had less space. She also preferred to use the money on her and her boyfriend than on her kid’s meds. After that I refused to keep on helping her (this initiative was once every year), and after some time I saw her again on TV, requesting people to help her. The only positive thing is that the kid is surviving against all odds…..and apparently without the meds that he should be taking.

Some time ago, a company I used to work for, asked all the people there to give money or food to an animal shelter, that works on a voluntary basis. After we gathered all of the donations, we called the shelter to arrange a date to deliver them. The person who answered the phone was a voluntary there and not part of the administration. In a low voice, he asked us whether it was monetary donations or goods. He then advised us not to give money, because the people in charge of the Organization would not spend the money on the shelter, but with themselves.

Here in Portugal, we have an extremely known organization that collects food donations for people who are hungry. What happens is that the administrators keep the food donated that is still good and take it home, and the one that isn’t they re-sell it. Very little that was donated is actually used for the purpose of the organization.

I’ve also found this article regarding US Charities:

So I’m a little sceptic. It’s not that I believe that all of these Organizations are scams, but how can I separate these from the good ones? I actually prefer to donate my time working on something that I can really see the end result.

What do you feel about these organisations?


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