Back in September, a New York Times business section article titled "Big Gifts, Tax Breaks and a Debate on Charity" piqued my interest, and I have thought about it daily ever since, especially because of this quote: "Research shows that less than 10 percent of the money Americans give to charity addresses basic human needs, like sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry and caring for the indigent sick, and that the wealthiest typically devote an even smaller portion of their giving to such causes than everyone else."
Please click here to read the full text of this important article.
Having grown up in rural Appalachia, I have seen first-hand that there are starving people in this country. I remember delivering boxes of food to some of these families in great need. A box of food here and there, though, helps but does not solve the problem. I think it is easier for us to fight starvation in Africa and harder to realize that it is happening in our own backyards. How could it, in a country this great and rich and free?
It would be easy to delve into a lengthy political discussion of which Presidential candidate's social programs might best address these needs. But I'm not going to go there. Instead, I'm going to encourage you to read this article and to think about what you're thankful for -- and then to consider giving a charity in your backyard your time or money to help our neighbors in need.