You should pay me to help people...
February 8, 2013 11:35am CST
I just saw an online ad for a religious group here in my city, that says that they want to help people, like the homeless (since we have loads of them...) and they're a christian group, and they want you to send them your money. I really hate these kinds of pieces. Firstly, I know that a minute long Google + Youtube ad is not cheap, and the more it's shown off, the more money you have to put into it. This is where the money that you give them is going. They have a building downtown where they do their work, you're paying for that. They have loads of employees that work there full time, so you pay for that... In the end, the average amount of money that ends up going towards the people who they say they'll be helping is around 5-10% of what you give. Seeing that they're a religious company, then the majority of that money will be pushed towards those people being taught the religious side. The same goes with people doing missionary work in other countries. An American travels to Uganda to help out the poor people. They spend loads of money on flying out there and taking everything they want, then they get to the country, and build them a church. Why not build them a medical center or a school? Why base it completely around the religion? You may say, "At least their religion is pushing them to help these people out." But that's just wrong. Some of the best companies that do that are ones like Unicef or Operation Smile, which are completely religious-free. But the companies that give the most money to charity to help people are ones like Macy's and Safeway and Dow Chemical and Wal-Mart... not the religious groups. "Well, if the people are being shown god, then they're going to get better!" Thats not true. A good example of Alcoholics Anonymous shows this. They take alcoholics and put them through a 12 step program. Around 5 of those steps are completely religious, and tell people to give themselves to God, and admit that they're not in charge of themselves, but God is. This has about a 5% rate of effectiveness... which could come down to anything. I think even getting a cute pet, and wanting to care for it rather then drinking, has a better effective ratio then religion. Of course it's good to be helping others, no matter how you do it, but you should really be effective. If you want a homeless person to be happier, give them your spare change, or donate towards a company that is really helping them with their medical and mental needs. Don't trust the religious groups, because they say they're helping the people, but they're really just helping themselves.
• United States
8 Feb 13
A lot of what you say is true. The only religious organization whose leader doesn't get 3 times the salary that you are I might get is the Salvation Army. A person who is really interested in seeing where the money goes can look it up on the internet. Our missionaries go in usually with medical services or teaching services first and add the Bible as they go. The one money campaign I try to stay away from are the profession campaign callers. I have read that they and the company they work for can keep up to 80% or 90% of the money they get. There are organizations that are volunteers so I try to listen carefully when they first call because I think they have to say they are a professional company that is calling. Everyone who gives to charities should check them out carefully to see that the money is really going to the charity they say it is going. I get a request from disabled artist but one poster said that just those who work in the office really get very much money.
8 Feb 13
I agree with you. I didn't even know the Salvation Army was religious until a year or two ago, so it's not like they're pushing it like crazy, and they have wonderful feed the homeless plans. They have big trucks that go out to the homeless centers in my city to provide them with soup and bread, and that's really great. You're right, too, helping people is great, but really look into who exactly they are before giving them money. Thanks for the post!
• United States
8 Feb 13
There are some charities that actually do what they say they are going to and do it by volunteers...There is such a group on an island near me...They provide a weeks worth of food to between 800 and 1500 families a week...Everything they get is given back, because all of the labor is volunteer and the buildings and vehicles used belong to the church... They provide free hair cuts (all donated onsite by volunteer barbers and hair dressers). They provide 5-10 articles of clothing weekly unless someone has had a catastrophe and needs more. They have a shower for those needing it. They have 4 transitional housing units. They host the jobs services bus monthly. They have a bicycle program where they refurbish donated bikes and give them to the homeless... There is no requirement that you be religious or participate in prayer. The volunteers come from all walks of life and all religions...I am not christian, but I volunteer because, when my schizophrenic brother was homeless, they helped him no questions asked...