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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Who receives your donation?

The Salvation Army has a long history of donating to the needy.  But who are the needy and what qualifies them to be on the receiving end of your donations?

Recently I wrote to The Salvation Army on behalf of a friend who is definitely needy.  She is a young woman, who lost her job, and battles a number of medical issues that prevent her from working outside her home.

She doesn’t sit and watch the world go by, she puts her writing talents to good use and earns a little money with freelance writing.  A little being the operative word here.  She works from early morning until deep into the night and even then has to rely on friends to make ends meet.

Having visited The Salvation Army’s website, I sent an email to the contact person and asked if my friend qualifies for their help. 
The reply I received asked me a couple of questions:

Was my friend pregnant?

Did she have children under the age of 18?

Did she have an addiction?

My answer was “No” on all counts, to which I received the prompt reply that my friend did not qualify.  To say that I was stumped would be putting it mildly.  Do only pregnant women or women with young children qualify for financial assistance? 

I dug a little deeper and came across two women whose situation puzzled me even more.  One is a mother of five with a sixth on the way.  The other has three children and can’t wait to have a forth.  By their own admission, they are addicted to babies.  They state that a baby is a gift and should never be refused.

Naturally, I wondered … why have children if you can’t provide for them?  And if you can’t provide for the children you have, why have another?  “Oh, The Salvation Army sends us money” they both admitted.

Needless to say, my wallet will remain firmly closed when The Salvation Army asks me for a donation.  I don’t support selfish women who could go out to work but prefer to be on welfare and receive donations.  The days that women had kids by accident are long gone.  These days they have options. 

As for the question if my friend had an addiction … no, she does not.  Why would The Salvation Army ask me that?  Does the fact that an individual is addicted to alcohol, drugs or gambling qualify him/her to receive money? 

Maybe we should all have a good look at charitable organizations and research how the donations are used.  There are undoubtedly organizations that are honest and help those who really deserve help.  But there are just as many, if not more, who take our money and use it for less honorable purposes.

Instead of giving to charitable organizations maybe we should have a look around us at people who need financial assistance and extend our help on a one-on-one basis.  When we give privately, we know exactly who receives our money and what it will be used for. 

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