In this interview with James Whitford, we explore a better way to do human-services charity.

The word “charity” often leads people to think of the human-suffering side of giving, or rather efforts aimed to alleviate human suffering. Think homeless shelters, food banks, church-run thrift stores, and after-school programs in tough neighborhoods. All of these places have a role to play, but are they enough?

Many listeners likely agree it’s not. On the very first episode of Giving Ventures explored free-market approaches to alleviated poverty. We talked with groups trying to help individuals get over the welfare cliff and reclaim their dignity through work. Today, we’ll expand on that theme and explore a concept called True Charity. The True Charity idea challenges the notion that kindness and giveaways to the poor are enough, and argues that true compassion comes by helping individuals in dire straights find a path toward self sufficiency and dignity.

True Charity is both an idea and the name of an organization started by James Whitford. James originally founded Watered Gardens Ministry with his wife in Joplin, MO, which did many of those human-suffering alleviating things we mentioned at the start, but came to realize that wasn’t enough and now is an evangelist for other human service organizations across the country to rethink how they do charity.

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Published in: General