Where Do You Give?

 

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Here on the center-right, we believe that the best and most interesting stuff in life happens without government. Every day people marry, raise families, work, start businesses, trade, and support their communities with neither help nor inducement from the state (though often with its hindrance). Though I argue that we don’t give the for-profit sector nearly enough credit for making our world as prosperous, happy, and moral as it is*, private charities can fill in the gaps where markets aren’t functioning properly.

So, to whom to you give and why?

My charity of choice for the last few years has been Cure International. Cure is a Christian medical charity that builds hospitals in some of the worst places on Earth, and focuses on relatively simple and inexpensive corrective surgeries such as clubfoot and cleft palates. It’s the sort of thing we take for granted in the West but that makes a tremendous difference in the developing world. They also have a very respectable rating from Charity Navigator.

I first heard about Cure through Dennis Prager — who runs an annual fundraiser for them — and you may recall that three of their doctors were murdered in Afghanistan earlier this year by a member of their security detail. It’s brave, useful, and wonderful work that helps people directly and represents our values abroad very well.

What other organizations deserve our money? And please, no ice buckets.

* Subject of a forthcoming post!

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Members have made 26 comments.

  1. Profile photo of TaleenaS Member

    Internationally: Samaritan’s Purse, Orphan Relief and Rescue
    Locally: Good Cheer (Soup kitchen and Food Bank), WI Animal Improvement (no kill shelter), my local church, and Gifts of the Heart (food bank) also various causes and kids programs locally.

    Both international groups do yeoman’s work in children’s lives. Orphan Relief and Rescue’s workers are in Liberia and Benin (amidst the Ebola) stopping child trafficking.
    I think it is important that resources stay local too: people are more apt to hear you when you are making a difference in their lives.

    • #1
    • August 26, 2014 at 9:38 am
  2. Profile photo of CandE Member

    We give to our church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), our school (BYU), Ronald McDonald House, and March of Dimes. There are a few others to which we’ve given small, one-time amounts, but I forget what they are.

    Ronald McDonald House took a huge load off our shoulders by providing a place for us to stay when our newborn L had to be transferred from Tyler to Dallas. The least we can do is pay it forward.

    Some good friends of ours had triplets a few years ago (all preemies), so March of Dimes is also close to our heart.

    -E

    • #2
    • August 26, 2014 at 9:39 am
  3. Profile photo of PHCheese Member

    We give to Wings for Kids.org. It is a after school program that teaches social, emotional learning to underserved children. They have a four star, 93% rating on Charity Navigator.

    • #3
    • August 26, 2014 at 10:09 am
  4. Profile photo of RushBabe49 Thatcher

    1. Hillsdale College. We dropped our real alma maters to donate to Hillsdale. They do God’s work there, educating the next generation.
    2. Seattle Chamber Music Society
    3. Curtis Institute of Music (the world’s best musicians pay zero tuition there)
    4. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Their funding of research has resulted in medicines that address the root cause of this fairly-common genetic disease.
    5. Leukemia-Lymphoma Foundation
    6. American Friends of Yad Vashem

    • #4
    • August 26, 2014 at 10:17 am
  5. Profile photo of Whiskey Sam Inactive

    My local church gets the bulk of it which in turn goes to support various missionaries and ministries like Samaritan’s Purse, Mercy Ministries, and Global Aid Network. I give to some of those organizations privately, as well. Voice of the Martyrs is another I personally support. I donate to my niece and nephew each year for the bike-a-thons/walk-a-thons for heart and cancer charities. In the past I helped fund the restoration of James Madison’s home, Montpelier, but they’ve completed most of that work.

    • #5
    • August 26, 2014 at 10:47 am
  6. Profile photo of Barkha Herman Member

    logo

    • #6
    • August 26, 2014 at 10:54 am
  7. Profile photo of Albert Arthur Coolidge

    Wounded Warriors & Animal Haven.

    • #8
    • August 26, 2014 at 11:10 am
  8. Profile photo of Midget Faded Rattlesnake Moderator

    Barkha Herman:

    logo

    Yes, actually, we do (though obviously not under our Ricochet handles). Other places, too, of course. There’s an embarrassment of worthy causes to choose from.

    • #9
    • August 26, 2014 at 11:42 am
  9. Profile photo of RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Claire, check out the “heroes” post on the Member Feed, Sept. 21.

    • #10
    • August 26, 2014 at 11:43 am
  10. Profile photo of Mark Wilson Member

    I give to the USO. If there was ever a group of people to whom I owed a charitable donation, if that’s logically possible, it’s our deployed forces and combat veterans.

    • #11
    • August 26, 2014 at 11:46 am
  11. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor

    Digger DTR mine clearance robot

    I support Digger DTR, a Swiss NGO which develops technological solutions for the humanitarian removal of land mines. The principal products are robotic tanks with flails that explode anti-personnel mines in place. Donations of any size are welcome, but are not tax-deductible for donors in the U.S.

    The main focus has been on removing anti-personnel mines, but below are tests which demonstrate the device is capable of withstanding the explosion of an anti-tank mine with up to 8 kg TNT equivalent.

    • #12
    • August 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm
  12. Profile photo of EThompson Inactive

    So, to whom to you give and why?

    I provide good jobs and I’m especially proud that my two favorite employees have earned enough money to help their parents pay for UCLA grad school sans federally funded student loans.

    • #13
    • August 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm
  13. Profile photo of HeartofAmerica Member

    I donate my time and money to Ronald McDonald House and occasionally to Christmas In October. I also donate (through my employer) to United Way and have done so for the last 35 years and to our local animal shelters with food and money. I’ve lost count of how many fundraisers for one organization or another that I’ve either donated to or raised money for over the years. Clothing and furniture go to Goodwill. We even donated a car once to some organization. My college occasionally gets a few bucks every now and then.
    Yesterday, I sent donations to The Parkinson’s Foundation and the National Federation of the Blind as part of my version of the ice bucket challenge.

    • #14
    • August 26, 2014 at 1:20 pm
  14. Profile photo of Tuck Inactive

    Institute for Justice.

    “If you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour. If you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.”

    IJ, among other things, removes licensing schemes that prevent people who know how to fish from fishing. Thus allowing them to feed themselves.

    They have a very good track record of increasing our liberties.

    • #15
    • August 26, 2014 at 2:27 pm
  15. Profile photo of Douglas Member

    Mostly hunger and poverty stuff. My local food bank, along with a couple of national hunger programs.

    • #16
    • August 26, 2014 at 7:17 pm
  16. Profile photo of Pete EE Member

    1. Church
    2. World Vision
    3. Food for the Hungry
    #2 & 3 are child sponsorship programs. Unfortunately, I have always done a lousy job of making personal contact with my sponsored child.

    • #17
    • August 27, 2014 at 1:21 am
  17. Profile photo of Lucy Pevensie Member

    Like Pete EE, my list begins with

    1. Church
    2. World Vision

    and then goes on to include

    3. the mission of a friend to Japan
    4. my daughter’s Catholic school
    5. Samaritan’s Purse
    6. Catalyst Foundation, which works with communities in Vietnam
    7. Various small or in-kind contributions to local charities, including Durham Rescue Mission (for the homeless) and TROSA, a local substance abuse recovery program

    This list makes me very happy. I love to think about giving to these causes. 

    • #18
    • August 27, 2014 at 5:29 am
  18. Profile photo of Lucy Pevensie Member

    EThompson:

    So, to whom to you give and why?

    I provide good jobs and I’m especially proud that my two favorite employees have earned enough money to help their parents pay for UCLA grad school sans federally funded student loans.

     I completely agree that providing good jobs is a huge contribution to society, and that business, inherently, is altruistic. But, as Arthur Brooks of AEI has shown, you are missing out on large benefits to yourself in happiness and health if you are not also giving to charity.

    • #19
    • August 27, 2014 at 5:36 am
  19. Profile photo of EThompson Inactive

    Lucy Pevensie:

    EThompson:

    So, to whom to you give and why?

    I provide good jobs and I’m especially proud that my two favorite employees have earned enough money to help their parents pay for UCLA grad school sans federally funded student loans.

    I completely agree that providing good jobs is a huge contribution to society, and that business, inherently, is altruistic. But, as Arthur Brooks of AEI has shown, you are missing out on large benefits to yourself in happiness and health if you are not also giving to charity.

    Lucy, I contribute a 15% payroll tax and help young people avoid debilitating debt! What could possibly be a better investment?

    • #20
    • August 27, 2014 at 11:17 am
  20. Profile photo of Lucy Pevensie Member

    EThompson:

    Lucy Pevensie:

    EThompson:

    So, to whom to you give and why?

    I provide good jobs and I’m especially proud that my two favorite employees have earned enough money to help their parents pay for UCLA grad school sans federally funded student loans.

    I completely agree that providing good jobs is a huge contribution to society, and that business, inherently, is altruistic. But, as Arthur Brooks of AEI has shown, you are missing out on large benefits to yourself in happiness and health if you are not also giving to charity.

    Lucy, I contribute a 15% payroll tax!

     I think your business contributes a great deal more to society than that payroll tax. But as I understand the research, you won’t personally benefit unless you give to charity, of your own accord. I don’t think “compulsory giving” has the same impact.

    • #21
    • August 27, 2014 at 1:05 pm
  21. Profile photo of Nerina Bellinger Member

    In no particular order we give 10% of our income to:

    • Our local church
    • Mary’s Meals (hunger relief in third world countries)
    • Christu Jyothi Sisters (we sponsor a child’s clothing, food and education needs for a year)
    • Catholic Medical Mission Board
    • Good Counsel Homes
    • FOCUS Crisis Pregnancy Center
    • Various local charities with which we have a personal connection

    As to why – in recognition of our many blessings and because our faith compels us to do so. “To whom much is given, much will be required.”

    • #22
    • August 27, 2014 at 6:30 pm
  22. Profile photo of Southern Pessimist Member

    Over 15 years ago my wife traveled to Nepal without me because of a conflict with my work schedule. She was in a small group and was asked what she would like to see while she was there. She said she would like to visit a hospital and while on the visit discovered that their library for nursing students only had 7 books. She arranged for her contacts in the nursing profession to donate 3 cargo containers of medical books requiring the hospital/nursing school to build a new building. She also met a young nurse who desperately asked for her help in raising $4000 so her 18 month old daughter could have corrective surgery in India for tetralogy of Fallot (a congenital heart defect that needs to be repaired early). Mrs. Pessimist was reluctant to get involved but the woman insisted on bringing her child’s medical records to her hotel before she flew home. She called a well known cardiac surgeon who was a friend while laying over in New York and was told that he would gladly donate his time but bringing the child to the US made no sense if it could be done in India for such a low price. We raised the money quite easily and administered it through the local Lion’s Club in Katmandu. The child was cured and today she is a beautiful young lady who calls Mrs. Pessimist her second mother. At the time, friends would question if it was right to give that much money for just one child when there were charities that could provide for so many people with a similar sized donation. We would respond, “yes, but we know this one child”. If you could save a life for $4000, would you? If you knew the child I hope you would.
    Getting back to the question, we donate our money to church, World Vision, Wounded Warriors and quite frankly almost any charity that doesn’t make robocalls. We donate our time to looking for opportunities to make a personal impact.

    • #23
    • August 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm
  23. Profile photo of Nerina Bellinger Member

    SP – Great story! Talk about Providence. Look how the stars aligned so that child could receive care and grow to be a woman. I’m sure God has big plans for her.

    • #24
    • August 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm
  24. Profile photo of Southern Pessimist Member

    Nerina, when my wife tells this story, she emphasizes so many other ways that this only happened because someone who was supposed to lead the hospital visit was delayed and quite a few other things happened that were not supposed to happen. She believes in an active God always making opportunities available. I believe in always saying “Yes Dear, that is a good idea.”

    • #25
    • August 28, 2014 at 2:35 pm
  25. Profile photo of Mister D Member

    Scares That Care, a small organization run by a good man, ex-military and retired police.

    http://www.scaresthatcare.org/

    • #26
    • August 30, 2014 at 6:57 pm