Building on our last episode about money, we’re focusing this episode on the big picture of money and the church. Where do our charitable contributions to churches–$83 BILLION every year–“go”? Do we know what organizations and charities our faith-based organizations support? Should we care?
We talk about religion disguised as health care (i.e. crisis pregnancy centers), the trouble with disaster relief efforts (Ashley talks about her experience after Hurricane Katrina), and why our contributions of goods can cause organizations more headaches than help.
Here are some of our personal tips for giving better:
- Give to local organizations where you have the opportunity to build relationships with the staff, volunteers, and clients.
- Follow the local organizers after a disaster. Social media can often point the way.
- Resist the urge to give stuff unless it’s requested. If you must give, contribute the unsexy stuff–adult diapers, underwear, socks, tampons, condoms, etc.
What We’re Reading and Listening To
Ashley has been devouring season 3 of the Serial podcast and as an accompaniment, she’s been reading along with the SerialLand blog, which is researched and written by Rebecca Maurer, an attorney who lives and works in Cleveland.
Katey came across the article “Making Hunger History: Komal Ahmad” in the October issue of Experience Life magazine. Read about Kamal’s success in creating effective systems for distributing leftover food to the people who need it.
Kindreds of the Moment
Circle of Health International (COHI), a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas, aligns itself with local, community based organizations led and powered by women to assist in disaster relief efforts. They are currently raising $50,000 to help with Hurricane Michael relief to:
- Hire a team of evacuee women to coordinate COHI’s relief efforts within the shelters
- Provide cash grants to evacuees to cover emergency housing and transportation costs for vulnerable women and children who’ve lost their homes and vehicles in the storm
- Provide cash grants to evacuees to cover costs associated with labor and delivery support and medical care for medically fragile kids
To donate visit cohintl.org. Do something good!
Stuff We Mentioned
- Georgetown study on revenue generated by faith-based organizations
- No, we don’t spend $1 trillion on welfare each year
- The Truth About Crisis Pregnancy Centers
- Guide to donating after a natural disaster
- 7 Reasons You Should NOT Participate in Operation Christmas Child
- The Problem With Little White Girls, Boys and Voluntourism
- Go on Vacation, Not on a “Mission Trip”
- Charity Navigator