THERE’S ALWAYS SOMEBODY WHO’S GOT IT WORSE THAN YOU DO …
Times are tight. And government’s anti-free market monetary and economic policies are making them tighter. That’s why it’s hard to fathom giving away even a dime of your hard-earned money, right?
Right … which is sad.
Still, Americans found their way to give $416.5 billion to charity in 2013 – a 12.9 percent increase from 2012, according to data published by the Atlas of Giving. That’s impressive. Even more impressive? The money you voluntarily give to charity – unlike the money taken from you by government – actually meets needs efficiently.
Numerous studies (including several cited in this piece) have shown that private charities administratively absorb only about one-third of the donations they receive . Big government? Anywhere between two-thirds to three-quarters of its budgets go to overhead.
One of our favorite local charities here in the Midlands region of South Carolina is a group called Sharing God’s Love. Wait … we’re endorsing a religious-based entity? Don’t we typically eschew the thumping of Bibles? Yes … but this isn’t a “church and state” issue. It’s a “church and community” issue. And we’d rather see needs actually being met (with a little bit of proselytizing thrown in) as opposed to seeing more taxpayer money pissed down the drain of the welfare state.
Sharing God’s Love – based in Irmo, S.C. – is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Established in 1984, its website refers to the group as a “local cooperative ministry that works with community families facing emergencies related to their basic living needs.”
From January to December 2013, the group provided more than $960,000 of assistance to an estimated 2,290 families (with overhead costs of less than ten percent). Through June of this year, it’s provided more than $510,000 of assistance to 1,238 families.
Groups like this exist all over the state … and the country.
They are – literally – doing “the Lord’s work.” And when we say that, we’re not referring to any specific deity, we’re referring to the simple notion of “doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. ”
Life is hard. It’s getting harder. But there are always those who have it worse than you do. So whether it’s Sharing God’s Love (our neighborhood charity) or a similar group in your neck of the woods – lend a hand. In fact if you’ve got a charitable organization you’d like us to promote, email us.
One of our favorite lines from the movie Gladiator came from Russell Crowe’s character, Maximus.
He said “what we do in this life echoes in eternity.”
In our book, that goes for compassion as well as bravery.