Monday, November 26, 2012

Effective Charity and Hurricane Sandy

Every month, the crisp letters from Samaritan's Purse came in the mail.  According to them, if they had not been allowed into Ethiopia, nobody would have been fed.  Their trucks floated by the evildoers so they could pass out bags of rice.

World Vision, The Salvation Army, Operation Blessing, Christian Relief, the local Baptist church, Catholic Charities.  You name it, we got the letters.  Mama lovingly stacked them beside the couch.  Every month they asked for money.  Every month, they had a new tactic.  Every year was a cash-strapped year.

But the overarching narrative was always the same - Christians relief organizations are the best equipped to bring aid to hurting and needy people because they bring the love of Jesus along with a can of pork and beans.  Secular organizations were poorly run, selfish, and had no eternal purpose and thus were ineffective.

In true form, I, Incongruous Circumspection, received an email from a relief organization just last week.  Here was the text:

Dear I. C.,

As our members sit down for dinner today with friends and family, many of us—particularly here in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut—are thinking about those still hurting in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. There's still a long way to go in the recovery, but today I'm giving thanks for the thousands of members who stepped up to help those in need.

Earlier this month, our members donated over half a million dollars for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. That money has helped local organizations on the ground in the worst-hit areas to:
  • Provide Thanksgiving meals to more than 20,000 people
  • Pass out 100,000 body warmers for those still without heat as the cold rolled in
  • Establish portable sanitation systems for areas with no sewer service
  • Create warming stations in neighborhoods without power
  • Establish charging stations for cell phones so that folks could keep in touch with loved ones and work
  • Distribute food, water, blankets, clothing, and other basic supplies to those made homeless by the storm

That's just a partial list. But in short, our members' generosity helped provided vital assistance to those critically in need. In addition, our members partnered with a local group to go door-to-door in one devastated area, many volunteered in their own communities, and thousands signed a petition asking Mayor Bloomberg to make sure the recovery efforts don't leave out the most vulnerable communities.

There's still much work to do. But the generosity and dedication of our members has made a real difference in the lives of many hit by Hurricane Sandy, and I am thankful to be a part of this community and this movement.

Thank you, truly, for all you do.

What organization did that come from?  Samaritan's Purse?  Catholic Charities?  TBN?

Nope.  MoveOn.org.

Carry on, ALL who provide assistance to the downtrodden.  Do it with no strings attached, political OR religious.

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