Giving to those in need

Is there an organization out in the big wide world where you can give a bit of coin that will find its way into the pockets of those in need without pushing religion or an agenda and that isn’t swallowed up by bureaucracy?

No. And I don’t care what any organization shows you on its books. Books are cooked. I worked for a non-profit and ran programs for 8 to 10 years… different programs at different times. DUI Program, PC 1000 First Time Drug Rehab Program, Perpetrators of Molest First Offenders, Runaway Shelter for battered kids, Court Mandated Visitation Guardian Ad Litem project, and more… There are so many ways of showing the money going directly to community support, and the company ending up with a new coffee maker. All non-profits are businesses and first and foremost, they are in the business of staying in business.

Honestly, the best way to help out someone out is to actually know the person. There are people all around you who need a hand.

Below are links to two secular charities to which I subscribe. I chose them after a search on line, finding out what they do nd how much is swallowed by costs.

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I like Doctors without borders. Then again, like I said. The first order of any Non-Profit is the business of staying in business. That means - Growing, Expanding, and “MAKING A PROFIT.” “Profit.” Profit is a weird idea. ( Excess of revenues over expenses for a transaction ; sometimes used synonymously with net income for the period.) As long as you spend the money by the end of the fiscal year on business expansion, improvement, salaries, whatever, and show a net loss… you can request more money from the FED, in the upcoming year. That’s the way it works. Spend it all so you can get more.

Thanks, David - that is very helpful.

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You are very welcome. Although I can not offer a solution, reputable charities can be audited, and at least, one can have a vague idea on what side of ethics they sit.

Religious charities, because they are immune to audit, should be avoided.

I remember visiting my father-in-law in San Jose, Costa Rica. In a non-wealthy part of town, cars were scarce. The local priest drove a shiny Mercedes.

They get mass charity every Wednesday and Sunday via Tithes that seems to go towards renovations, more bibles, contests and events, and everything centered around that congregation. They always say “Oh! we’re giving it to people in need!” But they don’t.

We had a homeless guy come into the dealership. He was begging for money, he was begging for help, and he was clearly upset. He’d been homeless for several weeks. His wife left him and took his kids and moved out of state after he lost his job. Soon after he got evicted because he couldn’t pay rent.

Johnny called up several of churches asking if they’d help him. He called 5 different churches. You know what they all said?

“No. He’s not a member of our church, we can’t help him.”

And that pissed me off so much. They preach about helping the poor and the sick. But they weren’t going to help this poor man?


So Johnny set him up with a guy for him to stay with until he could get off of his feet.

Thanks for that - I will do a bit of research, but from what I have seen already they look to be a worthwhile cause.

Yesterday I had a first; I was in the shopping centre car park, loading my groceries. A young bloke came up to be an asked for money to buy food for himself and his sister. Perhaps to my shame, I didn’t believe him, so said no. I felt bad later.

Nor do I usually give to tin rattlers at the shopping centre.

There’s on one kind of person to whom I will give money in the street. That’s the suffering alcoholic. If he’s begging, he needs a drink. I’ve been a recovering alcoholic for going on 20 years, and empathise with street drunks. There’s also a feeling of “if not for fortune, there go I”. This not fanciful. AA’s long term success rate (2 years or over sobriety) is around 3%

I don’t give money to people on the streets as a rule. I look at it this way. If I give money to someone on the street, I am paying them to be a beggar. If no one ever gave anyone any money on the street, there would be no beggars. They would find another way to get money and survive, or they would not survive. When did that become my problem?

With that said… I recognize a clear distinction between a hand out, and a hand up. I do not believe in handouts at all. I am completely in favor of hand ups.

What does that look like from my perspective… “Low government loans for education and training. I’m talking 2 to 6 percent and everyone is automatically eligible.” Paid Paid in six month commitment blocks with realistic goal acquisition. You meet your goals and you qualify for the next six months. You don’t and you are responsible for paying back the money you have borrowed so far before you can borrow again.

NO WELFARE - Cut the military budget and spend it on medical benefits for everyone. I can not even begin to rave about the insane medical benefits I enjoy here in Korea. I’m getting three implants next week. I spent a week in the hospital in a private room a few years back. Knee surgery. Total bill, Around $600.

The American Medical system SUCKS!

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Fine, your choice. I’ve explained my reasons

I think that’s just another fatuous cliche. I’ve mentioned before that the concept behind many official welfare policies comes from the Calvinist notion of “the deserving poor” . Seems to also be used by a lot of individuals, including myself. How the fuck would I know if a person is ‘deserving’ or not? Ideally, it’s my position that there should be one and only one criteria for welfare or charity; need. However, such a position is either dismissed or seen as too hard. (as by myself in fact)

Yair, I understand that the US has the worst medical system in the developed world.

Australia’s system is a hybrid. We do have universal health care in that every citizen is covered. We use an extra 2.5% income tax payment to part-cover the cost of the system. There can be long waits for non life threatening treatments. Older people (over 50) are encouraged to also have private heal cover. To that end, the government pays 30% of subscriptions, regardless of cover. I pay $208 a month. (I receive superannuation and a part age pension so do not pay tax)

Here a private health insurer cannot refuse to cover you, although a 2 year waiting period is allowed for pre existing conditions. Nor can your private health coverage be limited or run out.

About 5 years ago I had my cataracts repaired. The total cost, including specialist consults, medical procedure and one day’s charge for hospitalisation was $1500.00. Cost to me was $0.00

Having worked in Federal welfare for 25 years, your views on welfare seem simplistic and ill informed to the point of the naive. Australia has an excellent health system, as well as excellent welfare and education policies.

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In 2010 I spent three weeks in the hospital. Two major surgeries, at least 4 CAT scans, three days in ICU. Lots of meds, daily blood tests, support equipment, and bandage changes. Total cost was TV rental and cab fare home. The wife and I shudder when we compare our Canadian health care system to the US.

Some years back, I had an accident that required medical attention at the emergency room (not too serious, just lots of blood involved, and some stitching required) while on vacation abroad in Europe. Thanks to the European Health Insurance Card that all EU and EEA citizens are entitled to, my only expenses for two visits to the emergency room was taxi to and from the hospital. My travel insurance would also have covered it (including the taxi) had I used it, but the EHIC was far less bureaucratic. Didn’t even bother sending in a claim to my travel insurance provider to reclaim the taxi expenses, it wasn’t worth the effort.

That was something I was very aware of while in hospital. I was not burdened with dealing with insurance companies, filling out paperwork, the stress of wondering if my claim would be approved. If I had to deal with that extra burden, everything would have been much more difficult. And trust me, it was a difficult time just dealing with my medical issues.

When I’ve had my procedures in hospital, the hospital sorted out the health insurance claim on line. Took about 5 minutes, and was approved and paid on line. Same thing with my dentist. They use one of those little machines some places use for credit card transactions. Very simple and instantaneous approval. I suspect that is in part due to having a private health system which is regulated by the government.

have you tried - United Way - Habitat for Humanity, Doctors without Borders,

I’ll have a longer list in an hour.

Isn’t Habitat For Humanity the charity with which Jimmy carter is/was involved? In any case, it describes itself as “A Christian Mission”. As such I am unable to contribute to it or recommend it to others.

I support only secular charities. There are oodles of them, more the enough not to have to bother with religion based organisations

I already support Medicins San Frontiers, which is a secular charity.

I also support the Fred Hollows Foundation, an Australian secular charity which restores sight to people with cataracts ,all over the world. A donation of $25 will restore a person’s sight. To put that into perspective; I had that procedure about 5 years ago. The total cost was $A1500.