What is charity?

Charity.  noun.

1. generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless

2. something given to a person or persons in need

3. a charitable act or work

4. a charitable fund, foundation, or institution

Do we give enough? Can we give more? Again, charity is not just giving money, but doing what you can to help. I read that a group of 1500 “Salvationists” in Haiti (who have themselves experienced a large earthquake) prayed for Japan.

Where can we donate to disaster relief to Japan??

It’s too bad that we need to be careful where we send our money these days. There are some people/organizations out there that will take advantage of these situations and rip people off. So before you write a check or give out your credit card number, make sure the organization is legit. Here’s a couple that I trust.

UMCOR:  I received an email from my Methodist church saying UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) will be taking donations. It said 100% goes to the designated cause. The website states this:  “In response to the Earthquake on March 10, 2011 that struck Japan, The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) will be working with local communities to rebuild. UMCOR is now better able to help when earthquakes and tsunamis or other disasters hit the area. UMCOR works in shelter and infrastructure reconstruction, water and sanitation, income generation, health and nutrition, education and community development.” Here is the link:

http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/umcor/donate.cfm?code=3021317

American Red Cross: A trustworthy cause. According to the website, “Your gift to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.” Go here to donate to them for Japan, or any cause you choose:

https://american.redcross.org/site/SPageServer?s_subsrc=RCO_BigRedButton&pagename=ntld_main&s_src=RSG000000000

Remember, the Red Cross is where you can go to give blood. I’ll admit it – I’ve never given blood before, but I think I’m going to soon.

And of course The Salvation Army. http://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/www_sa.nsf/vw-news/6D6657CD97EE56798025785500509FC4?opendocument

If you’re not sure about where to donate, go to www.bbb.org/charity to research organizations.

www.charitynavigator.org is also a great website to get information.

Tip: Be mindful of  from where or whom your charity or organization is being funded. If you’ve got certain morals, convictions, etc, I think it’s important to know the background of organizations. You should know where you money is really going. Here’s a link I find helpful:

http://www.keywiki.org/index.php/Organizations_Funded_Directly_by_George_Soros_and_his_Open_Society_Institute

So those are my thoughts…either you choose to donate or not is your decision. That’s charity…your choice, not required.

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